We have received nearly $20 million in grant funds, increased our bond rating by two steps to AA+, made significant strides in funding our legacy costs, added millions to our general fund balance, and remain (since 2010) the only Township in Washtenaw County to be given an award of excellence annually for our Comprehensive Annual Financial Report by the GFOA. More information is outlined in the Annual Budget Overview, 2009 - 2015, the 2017 Budget Report, and the 2018 Budget Report.
Standard & Poor's Bond Rating
Standard & Poor's has acknowledged Pittsfield Township's fiscal stewardship by giving it two bond rating upgrades in the last decade. The first upgrade, in 2010, was a two-step increase from A+ to AA where S&P called out the Township's "sound management practices." The second upgrade, received in 2013, increased the Township's bond rating from AA to AA+ because, according to S&P, of Pittsfield's "very strong budgetary flexibility and liquidity."
One of the most significant sources of poor or failing fiscal health for local units of government arises from their legacy costs. As such, since 2009, we have been very diligent about funding our costs for Pittsfield Township's pension plan and health insurance benefits to all full-time employees (OPEB) and retirees (MERS).
In 2008, Pittsfield Township was about 40% funded for OPEB, which now stands at 85% Similar, for MERS we have more than doubled our funding for MERS legacy costs.
As part of our aggressive efforts to fund our legacy costs, in March 2020, the Pittsfield Township Board of Trustees unanimously adopted a [resolution to fully fund its Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) costs in the near future. In addition to increased funding through the General Fund, Pittsfield has made steady progress in reducing one of our major cost centers – health care – in order to remain both fiscally strong and continue being one of only two municipalities in all of Washtenaw County (along with the City of Ann Arbor) that is a full-service community providing public safety, water and sewer, waste management, parks and recreation, assessing, planning, code enforcement and inspection services. We have reduced employee health care costs by transitioning from providing benefits at the highest, platinum level, to the next level of gold health care benefits to our employees. As such, employee health care costs have reduced from being 68% of our total overall benefit costs in 2014 to about 50% in 2018.
Lastly, we have both controlled legacy costs and improved fiscal health by minimizing administrative costs through realignment of departmental functions in a manner that promotes cross-training and coordination to reduce redundancies while maximizing staff productivity/efficiency. To that end, the number of employees using township-provided benefits has remained fairly stable over the years because of our restrictive hiring practices and building a strong team work ethic aimed at Setting the Gold Standard in Public Service at Pittsfield Township.
Pittsfield is the only Township in Washtenaw County to be awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the last nine consecutive years (2010 - 2018).
In 2014, Pittsfield Township began publishing a snapshot of its finances, per the dashboard prototype provided by the State of Michigan's Department of Treasury.