News about the City of Muskegon, announcements and updates.

Proposed Budget for New Fiscal Year Now Available (2010-2011)

Last November, Muskegon voters approved several amendments to the City Charter including one which authorized the City Commission to set the fiscal year by ordinance. Since the City Charter’s adoption in 1919, the fiscal year had been established as beginning January 1.

Click image to review budget

The City Commission has now passed an ordinance setting a new fiscal year to start July 1. This change will make Muskegon fiscal period consistent with most other Michigan cities. Additionally, it will provide a one-time boost to the City’s fund balance – relief that is much needed in the current economic crisis.

Along with the change in fiscal year comes a change in the City’s budget process and budget calendar. Under the former system, the budget had to be adopted by September 25th of each year – more than three months before the fiscal year began. This sometimes meant the City’s budget was badly out of date before the year even started because of state cutbacks or other events occurring in the intervening months. The new budget calendar requires budget adoption by the second meeting in June – just before the fiscal year starts.

The first budget prepared for the City’s new July 1 fiscal year will be submitted to the City Commission at their May 25, 2010 meeting and is now available for public inspection. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for June 8, 2010 at 5:30PM in the City Commission chambers of City Hall (933 Terrace Street).

New Fiscal Year, New Budget Calendar

  • The fiscal year of the city shall begin on July 1.
  • The city manager shall submit to the commission, on or before the second regular meeting in May, a recommended budget covering the next fiscal year.
  • A public hearing on the budget shall be held before its final adoption at the time and place established by the commission. Notice of the public hearing and that the proposed budget is on file with the city shall be published at least ten days in advance of the hearing.
  • After the public hearing, and not later than the last regular meeting in June, the commission shall, by resolution, adopt a budget for the next fiscal year and provide for a levy of the amount necessary to be raised by taxes, as required by law.

City of Muskegon Water and Sewer e-Bill Form

City of Muskegon Michigan water and sewer customers can now sign up to receive their monthly bill in an electronic, paperless format. By agreeing to receive your monthly water & sewer bill this way, you can help save paper, printing and postage costs. What’s more, you will receive a $0.75 credit on your monthly bill – a savings of $9.00 per year.

Please fill out the form below to sign up or update your e-billing status.
  • Water Account Number Look Up
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

If you have questions, call the City Treasurer’s Office (231) 724-6720.

Muskegon is a Great Place to Retire

communityOne of the best kept secrets about West Michigan is that it is among the most “retirement friendly” locales in the U.S. Low taxes and housing costs, excellent healthcare and transportation, and generally moderate living costs combine to make West Michigan a place where retirees living on fixed income pensions and social security can get the most for their money!

Michigan is a tax haven for retirees. In fact, among the 43 states with income taxes, Michigan exempts more retiree income than any other. – Detroit Free Press (December 6, 2009)

Learn more about the many benefits of retiring in Muskegon at Michigan Retirement.

retirementIn Muskegon, the potential for great retirement living is even better. Several areas in Muskegon are designated as Renaissance Zones. Living in these zones means you pay virtually no state or local taxes. These tax savings add up to thousands of dollars per year and can be a big factor in improving quality of life in retirement. Consider retiring to a Great Lakes community where waterfront living is actually affordable! For more information and details about how Muskegon can fit into your retirement plans, check out Michigan Retirement.

Proposed Personnel Code and Charter Amendment Brochure Available

One of the proposed City Charter amendments that will be on the November 3, 2009 ballot would eliminate the City of Muskegon’s current Civil Service system. If this amendment is approved by voters, a new personnel code will be adopted by City Commission action.

Visitors who are interested in seeing the draft personnel code that potentially could replace the Civil Service system can click on the following link:

Proposed Personnel Code

This proposed code was drafted taking features from several other cities’ personnel systems. The City administration believes that taxpayers will get more value for their money by replacing Civil Service with this personnel system, which is fully accountable to the City Manager and City Commission and can be amended by the City Commission, when needed, to adapt to changing needs.

Click to see full brochure

Click to see full brochure

Also available for viewing or download is an informational brochure describing each of the six proposed City Charter amendments. You can see this brochure by clicking the image to the right. Contact the City Clerk’s Office (231.724.6705) to get copies for meetings or discussion groups.

Residential Monthly Billing Notice

Residential Monthly Billing Notice


Starting November 2009, the City of Muskegon will begin phasing in monthly water billing. The City expects to have all residential water accounts on a monthly billing cycle by early 2010.

To avoid long lines at City Hall, we are encouraging citizens to make payments using our Online Water Payment Center.

Or, you can mail your bills to our automated lock-box center (make sure you include the bill stub) to:

PO BOX 88071
CHICAGO IL 60680-1071

Counterfeit 100 Bill Warning!

The Muskegon Police department would like to make employees and citizens aware of counterfeit 100 bills that may come your way; this bill has turned up in two recent complaints in Muskegon. We have included a picture below so that you may get an idea of what the bill looks like.
Note: Click on the picture for a high resolution image.

Counterfeit 100 Bill Warning

The two $100 bills we have received are actually bleached $5 bills with a $100 image printed on top. The two bills we received contained serial #FH20916900A; although the two bills happen to have identical numbers, it does not mean that all counterfeit bills have this number.

Even though the bill was bleached, it still passes the marker test. The best way to spot these fake bills are by holding it up to the light and looking at the watermark. A $100 bill has Benjamin Franklin on the face and in the watermark, but with the fake bill, you’ll see Franklin on the face, but the watermark is of Abraham Lincoln, which is found on the $5 bill.

Another dead give away is that the security thread reads FIVE rather than HUNDRED. You will also notice in the example above that the image is low quality and that the print may be hard to read.

Should you come across such a counterfeit, please preserve the bill for prints if possible and record any other information you feel might help us catch the offender(s).

Report a Crime

Thank You.

Muskegon Salmon Fishing

Update: 9/25/2016 – Chad and his son caught this Salmon at around 7:30 on Muskegon Lake just before the channel. There were a ton of boats out fishing with most jigging and some trolling. It seems that those trolling had fish on while those jigging did not. Chad was 45 feet down and using a silver red head. Picture shown below:

Salmon caught in Muskegon Lake using Silver Red Head while trolling

And here is another picture of a nice catch not too far away from Chad, and also trolling. Impressive!
Salmon caught in Muskegon Lake

Want to catch some of the best tasting salmon you’ll ever have? We have it right here in Muskegon! People from all over come to get in on the action and are catching their limit of great lakes salmon!

Update: September 15, 2016 – Jonathan Phillips sent us a picture of this impressive catch! According to fish whisperer Vince Pannucci of North Muskegon Charters, this is a Brown Trout worthy of mounting! Caught from the Muskegon Pier, just as you enter the channel from Muskegon Lake on the Muskegon Side. Jonathan was using a silver & white Luna Jig and hooked this monster on 9/10/2016 at 7:30am.

Fish caught by Jonathan Phillips from the Muskegon Pier

Jonathan Phillips hooked this fish from the Muskegon Pier

Update: August 7,2016 – Massive Salmon being caught just outside arms of Muskegon Channel. Below is a picture of Captain Kurt Hildwein who went out at 7:30pm on 8/7/2016, dropped two lines (down riggers) 50 feet back, 30 and 40 feet down using his special jplug that caught these two monsters well before sunset! His trolling speed was a bit faster than other boats and fish hit the jplug as he passed bait balls (schools of bait fish that look like a ball on the fish finder). The location (marked by “1”) was just outside the green and white lighthouse of the Muskegon Channel. Both fish were caught within 45 minutes of each other.

Captain Kurt

Picture of Coho Salmon – what you can expect!

First Salmon!

First Salmon!

Using Neil’s Limit and Mongolian Beef (both green spoons that glow), trolling at 2.5 with down riggers set at 40 and 45 and 50 to 75 back about a quarter mile from the arms of Muskegon Channel in Lake Michigan, my daughter picked up the fighter shown in this picture. The line was screaming, fish jumped out of the water and back in to continue an incredible fight that we will never forget! Priceless!

Muskegon Coho Salmon

When is the best time to fish for Salmon? It shouldn’t be for a few weeks yet, but the latest cold spell has them moving and as you can see from the pictures below, fishing has picked up. These pictures were taken only a few days ago.

Salmon Fishing in Muskegon

Too crowded for you? Fishing with lead core? Then head out of the pier heads and to the left like this fisherman in the picture below did – I think he has the right idea :)

Fishing for salmon outside the Muskegon channel

You don’t have to go to Alaska to fish quality Salmon, you can get them right here in West Michigan. You can camp out and launch your boat at Fisherman’s Landing located at 501 E Western Ave, Muskegon MI, 49443 (231) 726-6100.

Once you’re in the water, head out to the channel and stop at the entrance to Jig for Salmon, or, use a dipsy diver or down rigger and troll through and just outside the channel arms entering Lake Michigan.

Lead core works great as well (fishing line with a lead core, the more you let out, the deeper it goes while trolling) as long as you’re not trolling near other boats – the last thing you want on your hands is your lead line tangled with others!

Don’t have a boat but still want to get in on the action? No problem, drive out to the Pere Marquette area and fish off the channel walls!

Salmon SaladTip — > Don’t want to cook the fish you just caught? Visit Docker’s Fish House and have Chef Scott (Does a fantastic job!) prepare your Salmon in a number of ways, including: Grilled, Sautéed, Pouched, Blackened, Cajun, Bourbon Glazed or Mango Salsa.

Chef Scott asks that you give him a two hour lead time (231) 755-0400 and fish must be cleaned before bringing them in (there is a cleaning station next to Dockers).

If you are going to freeze your Salmon, do it the right way – place them in a freezer bag filled with water; this will prevent freezer burn and works like a charm!

Enjoy the fishing!

PS. Have some pictures of your big catch? Drop me an email ( with your story and pictures and I’ll do my best to get them posted!

PSS. Want to see if boats are out in the channel right now? Check out the webcam from NOAA/GLERL on our Muskegon Weather page.

Lakeshore Redevelopment Plan

View the new Muskegon Lakeshore Redevelopment Plan.

The fundamental purpose of this updated Downtown/Lakeshore Redevelopment Plan is to aid in advancing the redevelopment and improvement of the downtown and lakeshore areas and the Lakeside Business District.

View the Plan

Muskegon Retirement Site

Many people nearing retirement in expensive big cities are fearful they will not be able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. Inadequate pensions and savings combined with rising costs for necessities like health care, gas, and utilities are severely pinching retirement plans.

There is only so much that can be done to increase retirement income sources. And even if you do your best to save, a retirement nest egg that looks adequate today can quickly be decimated by market gyrations.

There is one sure-fire way to stretch limited resources and protect your retirement dreams: lower your cost of living in retirement by relocating from a high-cost area to a nearby, low-cost city like Muskegon, Michigan. Studies show that living costs in Muskegon are forty-two percent lower than Chicago. Just about every category of everyday living costs – housing, food, clothing, utilities – is more reasonably priced in Muskegon.

Relocating to Muskegon doesn’t mean your quality of life will suffer. Quite the opposite! Muskegon offers a wealth of cultural, entertainment and recreation resources. You’ll find the cleanest beaches in the Midwest and you’ll find that they are uncrowded and easily accessible.

Enjoy watching sailboats on Lake Michigan? In Muskegon, housing costs and the everyday basics won’t eat up your entire income so you’ll have the spending money to sail your own boat on the Big Lake, if you choose.

And, when you feel like visiting old friends or taking in the amenities that only a big city can offer, remember that Chicago and Milwaukee are just a few hours away by car, cross-lake ferry or Amtrak.

So, why live a financially stressed retirement when you don’t have to? Relieve your stress and consider the many benefits that retiring in Muskegon can bring. If you’d like more information, just visit Retire In Muskegon.

Deer Herds in Residential Areas

Deer sightings within the City of Muskegon are prevalent at this time. Staff has contacted the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the following suggestions were offered:

  • Residents may purchase commercial sprays specifically made to deter deer. These sprays may be purchased at most home and garden stores.
  • Residents may create their own “home remedy” spray. Residents may search the internet for different recipes.
  • Residents may block access to deer by fencing in their yard or garden area. A permit can be obtained through the Planning Department.

This situation is a challenge for anyone who lives in our state but even more so for those who live adjacent to open, natural areas. It is our hope that these suggestions will assist residents.