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Kalamazoo County Commissioners avoid the drama and pass a budget


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- With little drama and no controversy, the Kalamazoo County Board has approved their budget for 2014.

One last minute change injected 125-thousand dollars more into their Public Housing Commission, which will primarily be spent on programs that keep homeowners in their homes. They call it “eviction diversion”.

Housing Commission chair David Anderson says they also help the working homeless get out of the Gospel Mission and into a home, by giving them their first months rent and damage deposit, if that’s what they need.

The grants are only given if the recipient has sufficient income to keep up the payments.

\Anderson called such programs a good investment in a healthier community and Commissioners agreed. The funding increase became part of the annual County budget plan for 2014.

Several Commissioners called it the smoothest budget process they could remember, in stark contrast to the events in Washington, with none of the acrimony or partisanship that has become the norm inside the Beltway.

In fact, Chair Dave Maturen and Vice Chair Dave Buskirk agree Congress could learn something from them.

The 83-million dollar spending plan is just a fraction bigger than last year’s budget, and for the first time in several years, includes a 1% pay raise for employees.

Democrats and Republicans voted unanimously to approve the budget.