The Waupaca County Board is considering a $70.4 million budget in 2011.
Of the county’s total budget, $22.77 million will be paid from the local property tax levy, while the remainder will come from state, federal and other sources.
The county is proposing a 2011 property tax rate of $6.03 per $1,000 of equalized value, which is 3.87 percent higher than the 2010 mill rate of $5.80.
Speaking to the County Board Tuesday, Oct. 26, Finance Director Heidi Dombrowski said the 2011 budget “funds fewer employees and decreases services.”
She said the 2011 budget increases total wages and benefits by $546,000, even as the county continues its hiring freeze.
Since 2008, the county has cut staff by the equivalent of nearly 53 full-time positions.
Dombrowski also projected $200,000 less in interest earned on investments and $150,000 less in revenues from out-of-county inmates at the jail.
She also encouraged the board to set priorities for the services it offers in order to “climb out of the hole that we have dug.”
“Since 2005, our General Fund undesignated fund balance decreased by $2.71 million due to application of these funds through the budget process, and transfers to Lakeview Manor Nursing Home totalling $1.8 million,” Dombrowski said. “Given these challenges, we cannot keep doing what we have done in the past and expect the budget process to work beyond the year 2011.”
Most departments will se little to no increase in their tax levy funding for 2011.
The Highway Department’s 2011 budget includes the Highway Operations Enterprise Fund and the Transportation Services Special Revenue Fund. These two funds, plus the bonding the county board approved in September, provide a combined budget of approximately $23.8 million for roads.
State and federal aid, maintenance and snowplowing fees from the towns cover $18.72 million of the county’s roadwork, while local taxes pay for $2.16 million. The capital improvements bond accounts for the remaining amount.
The Sheriff’s Department and Emergency Management constitute $10.12 million of the county’s total 2011 budget.
Revenues from state aid, out-of-county inmates at the jail and various fees pay for $1.78 million of the public safety budget. Most of the remaining 2011 public safety budget is covered by $8.32 million from the tax levy.
In 2010, public safety was supported by $7.65 million in local taxes. Public safety’s 8.85 percent increase in tax levy dollars is the largest of any department.
Health and Human Services
The budget of the county’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is supported by $240,000 from the general fund and $16.87 million from the Health and Human Services Special Revenue Fund.
Approximately $13.96 million of the 2011 DHHS budget comes from state and federal aid and fees. The department’s impact on the 2011 tax levy less than $9,000 more than it was in 2010.
Recreation and Education
The 2011 budget includes $893,000 for the county fair, Parks and Recreation and the UW Extension office. The tax levy will pay for $726,000 of that amount, which represents a 1.66 percent increase over 2010.
Waupaca County’s recycling and solid waste management program is budgeted for $880,000 in 2011. Of that budget, local taxes cover $123,000, fees and state aid cover $687,00 and money from the county’s fund balance will cover $70,000.
Conservation and Development
The Land and Water Conservation Department, county and regional economic development programs and county zoning account for $1.45 million of the 2011 county budget and $726,000 of the tax levy. This area of the budget saw a 0.5 percent decrease in levy dollars.
The county has budgeted $6.6 million for general government in 2011. This line item includes the offices of county clerk, coroner, clerk of courts, register of deeds, treasurer, finance and accounting, corporation counsel and the county board.
General Government accounts for $3.8 million of the county’s 2011 levy, which represents a 5.69 percent increase over 2010.
Waupaca County budgeted $818,000 for library aid in 2011, representing a 2.97 percent increase over 2010.
The county will levy $5.43 million in local property taxes to make payments on its debt in 2011. That amount is 2.29 percent more than was levied in 2010.
About $4.5 million of the debt service fund will pay down principal, while $915,000 will pay interest. The 2011 payments on interest are about 26 percent less than they were in 2010.