Garland asks BOC to make Gauge, magistrate

May 10, 2018

By John Raffel

LAKE CITY — Missaukee County Administrator Precia Garland presented a request to the Board of Commissioners finance committee, from Judge Parsons to appoint District Court Administrator Catherine Gouge to the District Court Magistrate positions.

The committee at its meeting on Thursday, voted to forward the request to the Board of Commissioners.

Garland noted the magistrate has the responsibilities when the judge is not available to sign criminal complaints, arraigning defendants, setting bonds, signing search warrants and performing marriages.

Garland also shared a request from Michigan Association of Counties to contribute to a Michigan Tax Tribunal case of Menard’s v City of Escanaba. Menard’s in Escanaba, is using a defense of a “dark store” claiming that if the building was not in use by their commercial store, the property is worth a fraction of what it is currently being taxed at. Treasurer Lori Cox and incoming Equalization Director James VanHaitsma said it would be a negative precedence set for municipalities if Menard’s won the case. A sample resolution that would include a $1,000 appropriation was suggested for board approval.

The only bid that was received for the Courthouse window replacement project was reviewed by the Buildings and Grounds Committee and referred to the Finance Committee for approval. The bid was received from Douglas the Window Guys of Cadillac, for $11,500. and was added to the board agenda for action.

Garland also gave an update on the 2018-19 fiscal year budgets and indicated the requested budgets from department heads and elected officials have been compiled. She estimated the general fund will need $141,863 from the appropriated fund balance to balance. The board, Garland said, would need to decide if there are changes they want to make for recommended budgets so they can reduce the gap in the general fund budget.

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