County tax rate to drop
Board approves drug treatment court
By Robert Cloud
Waupaca County property owners will see their county mill rate drop by 5 cents in December.
Finance Director Heidi Dombrowski presented the first reading of the 2017 county budget at the Oct. 25 board meeting.
The county plans to support a $75.18 million budget with a total levy of $25.72 million.
The levy includes $18.57 million for operations, just over $6 million for debt service and $1.04 million for libraries and bridges.
The county’s combined mill rate will be $6.73 per $1,000 of equalized property valuation.
In 2016, Waupaca County’s total property values increased by 2.84 percent to $3.82 billion, which is why the mill rate is lower this year.
The 2017 budget includes $33,100 for a drug treatment court that will start in September 2017.
The Waupaca County Board passed a resolution establishing the drug treatment court during the Oct. 25 meeting.
The resolution notes a significant increase in heroin abuse that has led to overdose deaths, property crimes and an increased burden on local law enforcement.
Instead of prosecuting and incarcerating heroin addicts, the drug court’s goal is to provide intensive treatment, counseling and rehabilitation.
According to organizers, a county drug court would include a coordinator, representatives from city and county law enforcement, probation and parole agents, social workers, a public defender, a prosecutor and two judges.
The budget also includes a 1 percent pay increase to the salary schedule for county employees and no increase for health insurance premiums.
A public hearing on the 2017 budget is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, at the Waupaca County Courthouse.