Weyauwega passes budget
City raises tax rate by 27 cents
By Angie Landsverk
The city’s tax rate will be $8.80 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, compared to the current city mill rate of $8.53 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
The Weyauwega Common Council approved the city’s 2018 expenditure budget of $1.94 million when it met on Nov. 20.
The budget is up 3.07 percent from this year’s budget of $1.89 million.
The 2018 city budget will be supported by a tax levy of $799,423, which is up .53 percent from the present levy of $795,232.
City Administrator John Foss recommended the city increase its tax levy to the allowable limit of $799,423, which equates to the $8.80 mill rate.
Weyauwega’s equalized value remained flat, and the city’s goal is to foster residential and commercial development in the coming year, according to his budget summary.
That will help increase the city’s equalized value.
The city’s 2017 budget was also put together using the maximum allowable tax increase.
The 27 cent increase in the city’s mill rate means the owner of a $100,000 home in Weyauwega will pay an additional $27 in city taxes.
This is the third consecutive year the city’s tax rate is increasing.
It remained level at $8.16 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for four years.
Foss said levying the allowable limit will help the city afford more capital projects.
If the city had kept its mill rate at the current rate of $8.53, it would have had $25,000 less for capital projects, he said.
Ald, Keith Najdowski noted two houses on Mill Street are set to be torn down, work is planned on South Street and other projects are on the city’s radar.
The General Government portion of the budget includes a 2 percent raise for the city’s hourly Public Works employees.
The rest of the city’s employees received raises earlier in the year.
The wages for the mayor and common council remain the same.
The Public Safety budget is up 2.29 percent.
Of that amount, 1.82 percent of the increase is related to wages, benefits and new equipment in the Police Budget.
Costs associated with the city’s building inspector are also higher.
New in the 2018 budget is $2,000 to go toward a First Responders Team.
The city is working on an agreement with other area communities to create this joint team.
Expenditures in the city’s Public Works Budget are down 0.52 percent due to costs associated with the city’s yard waste site expected to decrease.
Next year’s city budget includes $225,000 for capital improvements and a 6.38 percent increase in the city’s Parks Budget.
The increase for parks is related to planned upgrades in the parks, including playground equipment.
The Library Budget includes a $1,200 contribution from the city and cuts in other areas to offset the reduction in shared library aid the library expects to receive in 2018.
For Foss, this was the first budget he put together as Weyauwega’s city administrator.
In a letter to the common council, he wrote that while the city did not see as much growth as it hoped to see this year, it was a building year “with many prospective projects and opportunities coming down the pike.”
He said planning will be the key to making sure growth meets the community’s needs and aligns with the city’s ideals.
“Comprehensive Planning, the Capital Improvement Plan, the CORP Plan (Comprehensive Outdoor Recreational Planning), creating a Downtown Vision and expanding our residential and commercial sectors are all in the works,” Foss wrote.