City Council Adopts 2017-2018 Budget

The Portage City Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Budget at its meeting of May 23, 2017. The budget totals $72,910,006 for the period July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. The budget includes all activities undertaken by Portage during that period. The General Fund accounts for governmental activities, such as Legislative, Administrative, Parks & Recreation, Public Safety, Community Development and Portage Senior Center activities. Public Safety expenditures (police and fire) account for 59% of the total General Fund operating expenditures. Additional separate funds include the Curbside Recycling and Leaf Pickup/Spring Cleanup funds, Community Development Block Grant Fund (financed by the federal government), Cable Television Fund (financed by cable franchise fees), Cemetery Perpetual Care Fund and West Lake Weed Management Fund (financed by West Lake property owners).


FY16-17 Adopted

FY17-18 Proposed


% Change

General Fund





Capital Improvement Program





Water Fund





Sewer Fund





Streets Fund





The City of Portage Budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 is large beyond the ability to concisely summarize. However, the following might be identified as the highlights of the budget: 

  • Reducing long-term debt has been a priority of the City Council. In 2008, the city’s total debt was over $105 million. With the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Budget the total debt will be reduced $3.4 million to $64 million − a reduction of 39% in debt level since 2008. 
  • The City Council has also prioritized investment in the city through the Capital Improvement Program. That includes funding to accelerate road reconstruction projects, water and sewer improvements and parks/trail upgrades. An additional $1.7 million, an 11% increase, will be invested in Portage projects in Fiscal Year 2017-2018. 
  • The Water Fund has seen an increase in budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 of $889,034, or an increase of 17%. The increase is attributable to the retirement of water bonds and the full activation of the Garden Lane Water Treatment Facility. The plant has dramatically reduced the amount of iron in Portage water, addressing concerns raised by citizens regarding water quality. 
  • The General Fund, the city’s largest budgetary fund, is the home of the Police and Fire divisions, Public Services, Parks and Recreation and City Administration. In Fiscal Year 2017-2018, the increase is less than 1% after considering the cash transfer of $321,000 for debt avoidance. 

The creation of the City of Portage 2017-2018 Budget is a monumental task. City department heads worked very hard to propose budgets that were reasonable, effective and met the goals of the City Council. Without the dedication and expertise of Finance Director, Bill Furry and Deputy Director of Accounting and Budget, Lauren VanderVeen, the budget would not be possible. 

The Portage City Council devoted over ten hours in public meetings to hear presentations from city department heads of the proposed activities for the funds associated within their area of responsibility. It was clear that debt reduction, debt avoidance, cost control and capital improvement investment will all remain top priorities for the City Council. 

Finally, the City Council is also proud to recommend a slight millage reduction for the Fiscal Year 2017-2018. Although modest, the millage reduction of 0.0051 mills to a total 10.9205 mills is movement in a favorable direction for Portage taxpayers! 

Click here to view the complete Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Budget.