City to cut tax levy
Public hearing on Nov. 21
By Angie Landsverk
The city of Waupaca is proposing a 2018 expenditure budget of $6.94 million.
It is down $176,000 or 2.5 percent from the city’s current budget, said Kathy Kasza, the city’s finance director and treasurer.
The proposed budget will be supported by a $3.3 million tax levy, down $153,000 from this year’s levy, she said.
A public hearing on the city’s proposed 2018 budget is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, in the council chambers.
“We will then look for the council to approve all the budgets at that time,” said Mayor Brian Smith.
A city rate of $10.18 per $1,000 of assessed valuation is being proposed, Kasza said.
That compares to the city’s current mill rate of $10.10 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
Waupaca’s propopsed 2018 budget was the topic of a Nov. 7 Committee of the Whole meeting.
Kasza said the proposal includes a 1 percent raise for the city’s employees and 3 percent increase in the health insurance premium.
The city’s health insurance premium is going up just 3 percent because its employees are healthy, she said.
The city has a health coach and gives the employees information as a way to build awareness, Kasza said.
The city’s net new construction of .67 percent allows it to increase its levy by about $14,000.
“Please don’t ask me to cut anymore. The departments have done an excellent job,” she told the council last week.
Kasza said the departments brought lean budgets forward.
Public Works cut $34,000 out of its budget, she said.
She said a lot of that was due to the savings in switching to LED lights, turning off some streetlights and HVAC updates in city hall and the library.
“The budgets have stayed the same, because they have to,” she said. “Increases are minimal. If a line item went up, another item had to go down.”
Kasza said intergovernmental revenues are up by $31,000 due to the increase in transportation aid the city received.
The city is slowly getting the amounts it lost for not doing any street projects in past years.
The formula for that aid is based on a three-year and a six-year average for how much is spent on roads, she said.
“We’re trying to maintain what we did in 2015 with Hillcrest and Fulton,” Kasza said.
She said the city is able to do more street projects because of the way it is structuring its debt.
The city’s department heads knew the budget’s operating levy could only increase by $14,000, she said.
She gave kudos to the departments for their work.
Prior to last week’s Committee of the Whole meeting, there were three budget workshops for the common council.
The topics were the city’s Tax Incremental Financing districts, capital improvements and personnel.