Budget talks on tap for Three Rivers city commission

Commissioner Chris Abel (left) speaks during a Three Rivers City Commission meeting held at Three Rivers City Hall in 2021. (Alek Haak-Frost|Watershed Voice)

Three Rivers city commissioners will convene Tuesday evening for the first of three meetings regarding the 2024 Fiscal Year budget. These special meeting dates are set to discuss the city budget, with a final public hearing on June 6 for the adoption of the budget and proposed millage rates.

Mayor Tom Lowry told Watershed Voice in the past budget discussions were conducted in one meeting. However, following the recent resignation of Finance Director Cathy Lawson in March, the commission isn’t sure what to expect during Tuesday night’s meeting. City Manager Joe Bippus previously told Watershed Voice Lawson “indicated before she left that she would continue helping the city through the budget process if we needed her to,” and City Clerk Leslie Wilson has taken on the role of deputy finance director in the interim. 

The city has also been utilizing the Rehmann Robson auditing firm to assist with finance director duties. At the May 2 city commission meeting, commissioners approved a funds allocation agreement to continue using those accounting services offered by Rehmann. Lawson reportedly started the budget process before her resignation, and Rehmann took over after her departure to complete it. 

The first budget presentation will be held at 6 p.m. on May 23, the second meeting will be at 6 p.m. on May 30, and the public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. on June 6. 

Beca Welty is a staff writer and columnist for Watershed Voice.