The Sparta Township Council on May 11 unanimously approved the township’s 2021 budget.
The $35.8 million budget represents a $419,028 total increase from 2020, or 1.18 percent. It carries a total tax levy of about $17.7 million, a 0.36 percent increase over last year’s levy.
However, the estimated impact on the average residential taxpayer is $2,154.77, a 0.88 percent decrease from 2020.
“I think it’s an awesome budget,” said Deputy Mayor Dave Smith.
Councilman Dan Chiariello said it was good to see a decrease in the budget and inquired about using some of the township’s unspent 175th anniversary funds on historical markers.
“I also oppose the use of any open space funds to convert grass fields to artificial turf,” he said. “But that’s not enough to make me say this is a bad budget.”
The council also passed a 2021 salary ordinance. Chiariello asked about establishing a townshipwide $15-per-hour minimum wage. The statewide minimum wage won’t increase to $15 per hour until 2024.
“This ordinance doesn’t limit us if we choose to do that,” said interim township manager Neil Spidaletto.