Allegan contracts for assessor service
The new Allegan City assessor will be CSZ Services, a family owned business based out of St. Johns specializing in assessing, reappraisal and GIS services for local government units.
Former city assessor Ravyn Schneider resigned after accepting a position in northern Michigan.
City council members approved CSZ services at the March 25 meeting after CSZ submitted the low bid of $122,400 for three years to complete 20 percent of annual property reappraisals—a guideline of the State Tax Commission. The position is part-time work, said city manager Joel Dye.
Schneider not only served as assessor but also deputy treasurer and helped with bank reconciliation, human resources and payroll.
“You are not going to find an assessor to do that additional work and a Level 3 assessor pay range is $55,000 to $70,000 just for assessing,” said city manager Joel Dye.
Schneider’s salary was topped out at $55,000, he said.
Patrick Morgan questioned if outsourcing was the direction council wanted to take.
He said prior to hiring Dye, the city sent Schneider to classes for Level 3 certification because it was seen as a value to have that expertise in-house.
“Is that the direction we want to go now?” Morgan asked.
“It is my recommendation that it’s the direction we go for the next three years unless the council is willing to pay the West Michigan market rate for assessors,” Dye said. “In Holland which is your market rate, the Level 3 assessor started out at $63,000 three years ago.”
Hiring the service is actually a cost increase on the general fund budget, he said.
Although the council was only expected to consider the recommendation since it wasn’t placed on the agenda until the beginning of the meeting, they unanimously voted for it because the assessor’s work has been building up and not getting done. Finance director Tracy Stull said she does not have the certification to do assessor work.
Allegan City Clerk Danielle Bird was recognized for attaining the rank of Certified Municipal Clerk.
The certification program is a multi-year program that provides expert education that gives clerks the opportunity to enhance their quality of service to the public, increase efficiency and stay current with changing state legislation.
As well as this commitment, Bird attends clerk meetings and trainings with other Allegan County Clerks to grow her knowledge and experience.
Virginia Ransbottom can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (269) 673-5534.