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Alcona County Veterans Affairs Office Faces New Hurdle

As the Alcona County Veterans Affairs Department work to move to their new office building next year, today they face another hurdle.

At Wednesday’s board of commissioners meeting in Alcona, Tony Atkinson said the veteran’s office was asked for cost allocations for the treasurer’s and clerk’s services. The problem with this, however, is that they are pulling this money from the veteran’s office’s millage.

According to Atkinson, two years ago, the veteran’s office realized that the general fund money that the Alcona County building receives would not adequately fund their services, so they sought a millage that would do so. They received the millage and decided they would no longer pull money from the general funding. The board of commissioners can then use that money to fund whatever services they need.

“That money could be going to put a new furnace in a veteran’s house, or a new roof, or to repair his car, or pay his electric bill, for these low income veterans. And now we don’t have that money to do that, because it’s going to be going to pay the treasurer and the clerk’s office for their costs and services,” said Tony Atkinson, Alcona County Veteran’s Service Officer.

During the meeting, the board of commissioners said they were currently tight on money, and that they have been looking for ways to cover their fees. Atkinson received an invoice from them on November 14 for $3,000 for costs and services.

“He said, ‘Things are tight, we don’t have enough money,’ they overspent, or whatever, so now, they’re looking for other places to find money,” said Atkinson.

This came at the expense of the veteran’s affairs department, who are trying to move into their new building in the spring of next year. Atkinson is still hoping that the veteran’s affairs and the board of commissioners can work together amicably.

“Hopefully, we can all get along and work together, but I think there’s got to be a line drawn somewhere,” he said.

Commissioner Adam Brege said they used an auditing firm called MGT which recommended that they get money to make ends meet, and that it isn’t a new practice.