What's happening: The village of Laurium was awarded a $51,000 grant to help with software upgrades through the state of Michigan. The grant for programming software will be used for streamlining administrative tasks like payroll, audits and tax payments. The grant pushes forward another Michigan-based company, BS&A Software, in a measure that should lower administrative expenses for residents.
How is this funded: The municipality qualified for additional grants after residents voted to roll back the Headlee Act in the May 2023 election. The act, named after former politician Richard Headlee, reduces millage during times of economic growth so as to not shock property owners for tax increases larger than the current rate of inflation. A Headlee rollback would allow local voters to approve the higher tax capture.
These funds are used to help with local matches and administrative costs to finalize the grant. At an estimate of roughly $15,000 per year for similar administrative services, Laurium believes the software will pay for itself in less than four years.
Lots of changes: Developing a new internal software system is just one of the latest changes for Laurium as the municipality is trying to find new growth. A new fellow from the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan has arrived to work with village staff. The position is paid for by the association to get additional work experience for those looking into employment with municipal governments. The village is seeking a new Department of Public Works employee; a new police officer has joined the police department.
What's next: Village officials said that it will take up to two years for a full installation and rollout of the software. Additional information campaigns to showcase how the changes and rollback information will impact individual property owners will begin.
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