Weyauwega lowers taxes
Debt payments dropping
By Angie Landsverk
Taxpayers in the city of Weyauwega will see a decrease in the city portion of their taxes when they receive their tax bills this month.
The city’s tax rate is decreasing by 17 cents, said City Administrator Jeremy Schroeder.
It will be $8.65 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, compared to the present city mill rate of $8.82.
Schroeder said the city was able to decrease its mill rate by tweaking some areas of the budget and finding efficiencies.
“That’s the goal,” he said.
The Weyauwega Common Council unanimously approved the city’s 2019 expenditure budget of $1.99 million when it met on Nov. 27.
All council members were present.
The General Fund expenses are up 7.67 percent from this year’s budget of $1.84 million.
Weyauwega’s 2019 budget will be supported by a tax levy of $793,540, which is down .74 percent from the present levy of $799,423.
Before taking action on the budget, the council met in closed session to discuss employee wages for 2019.
After a short closed session, the council returned to open session and unanimously approved a 2 percent wage increase for all city employees, except Schroeder.
Ald. Keith Najdowski said Schroeder’s contract was written that he would not receive a wage increase in 2019, but will be eligible for one in 2020.
Schroeder became the city’s new administrator in early September.
In his executive summary regarding next year’s budget, Schroeder wrote, “The city of Weyauwega has great potential moving forward and will take continued hard work, thorough evaluation, positive promotion and teamwork by all to create and openly welcome new opportunities for businesses and citizens.”
He “firmly believes that the 2019 budget will emulate these efforts while maintaining quality services and opportunities in addition to positioning the city well for the future.”
Weyauwega’s revenue will increase 7.51 percent in 2019, according to Schroeder.
The city is set to receive $539,472 in state shared revenue next year.
That is a 3.84 percent increase from the $519,522 it received this year.
Weyauwega’s state road aid is also increasing.
The city will receive $83,412, a 3.35 percent increase from the $80,707 it received in 2018.
With the recent hiring of a police liaison officer, the city will also receive $45,000 in revenue from the Weyauwega-Fremont School District in 2019 to go toward the cost of that position.
The district will cover about 75 percent of the cost of the position, while the city will cover the other 25 percent.
During the summer, the officer will be reassigned back to city patrol.
On the expenditure side, Weyauwega’s general government costs are set to decrease by 36 percent.
Most of that is due to the council choosing a new city prosecuting attorney this year.
Schroeder noted the move is saving the city money, while also maintaining satisfactory results.
The city will also see a savings in its office supplies category.
Using different equipment is creating efficiencies.
The city’s leisure activities/education budget will increase 2.82 percent in 2019.
Most of it is due to the decision to increase the hourly wage for the lifeguards at the city’s swimming lake.
In looking at what lifeguards are paid elsewhere in the area, the city learned its hourly wage was the lowest.
The city may raise the wage to $9 an hour in 2019.
Weyauwega’s general expenses will increase 8.11 next year.
Improvements are planned for the city’s website.
Tree removal and plantings are also part of that budget.
The 2019 budget maintains $225,000 for capital improvements.
The Public Works Department’s equipment and vehicles have been evaluated and analyzed.
Schroeder explained in his summary that items will now be placed in a schedule for potential upgrade, replacement or elimination.
“The goal is to have equipment and/or vehicles that can be multi use to increase efficiencies while maintaining or eliminating inventory, storage and maintenance. A complete review of the city’s Capital Improvement Plan will be taking place, along with a potential five-year financial plan to coincide with the capital projects and purchases,” he wrote.
The city’s debt service will decrease by 9.9 percent in 2019, going from $258,033 to $$232,335.