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Rogers City’s Efforts to Bring Back Money to Community

Rogers City currently has high pension costs and bond payments for various reasons, currently over 60%.

When language in a bill brought forward by the Michigan House of Representatives was removed, it took away $250 million that would help communities like Rogers city who have pension costs that high. Rogers City city manager Joe Hefele is now taking on a leadership role in asking the Senate to reconsider.

“What we’re looking to do is simply to find the same type of help that the state’s providing to those who haven’t taken these steps, and providing help to those same communities that have,” said Hefele.

Rogers City made multiple efforts to provide pensions for retired workers in the area as well as working members of the community. Hefele, along with over 50 different city managers all across the state, are looking to get that money back.

“The power of working together with communities large and small from all over the state, the power of developing one message, and speaking that message with one voice is going to be far more effective than anything little Rogers City with a population of less than 3,000 could ever accomplish on its own,” said Hefele.

With all the different levels of support they’ve received, they feel they are going to be able to make a positive difference. They also feel like it’s the right thing to do.

“I have a lot of confidence,” said Hefele. “It’s going to take work, but we’ve been able to work with our legislature before on legacy cost issues and I believe we can do it again.”

The next step is to gather the communities and come up with a solid strategy for this matter.