Falls Council passes 2015 budget

by Jeff Pederson
Sheboygan Falls News Editor

The Sheboygan Falls Common Council gave final approval to the 2015 city budget, featuring a 16.76 percent property tax rate increase, during a semimonthly meeting Tuesday, Nov. 18, at the City Hall Municipal Building.

The approved budget features a property tax levy of $3,566,028, which reflects an increase of $530,825 over 2014, when it was $3,035,203.

The budget also includes a property tax rate of $6.13 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, which is an 88 cent or 16.76 percent increase over 2013, when the rate was $5.25 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

Total expenses are projected to rise by 11.41 percent from $5,456,101 in 2014 to $6,078,372 in 2015.

On the expense side, the proposed budget includes a 2.62 percent increase in general government expenses, from $1,285,349 in 2014 to $1,319,023 in 2015.

Total indebtedness increases by 37.07 percent from $1,400,591 in 2014 to $1,919,775 in 2015, while total street lighting are projected to decrease by 13.64 percent from $110,000 in 2014 to $95,000 in 2015.

Municipal Court expenses are estimated to increase by 9.49 percent from $30,616 in 2014 to $33,521 in 2015.

Police department expenses are anticipated to rise by 3.50 percent from $1,097,720 in 2014 to $1,136,182 in 2015, while fire department expenses are projected to increase by 3.23 percent from $140,739 in 2014 to $145,289 in 2015.

Total library expenses are expected to increase by 4.32 percent, from $312,256 in 2014 to $325,741 in 2015.

Total total cemetery department expenses are projected to go up by 1.54 percent from $39,017 in 2014 to $39,617 in 2015, while park department expenses are expected to increase by 1.26 percent, from $76,080 in 2014 to $77,040 in 2015.

Total street department and sanitation expenses are projected to increase by 2.63 percent from $907,597 in 2014 to $931.498 in 2015.

Unclassified expenses are expected to decrease by .80 percent from $56,136 in 2014 to $55,686.

Total city revenue is estimated to increase by 3.78 percent from $2,420,898 in 2014 to $2,512,344 in 2015.

While the city’s portion of the property tax levy will increase, due to the recent passage of Wisconsin Act 145, the overall tax rate for city of Sheboygan Falls residents will be reduced by an estimated 89 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation as the new law shifts the main funding source for technical college districts, including LTC, from from property tax rolls to state aid.

“It has been well publicized that our tax rate is going up this year due to the new fire truck and the renovation project at the Municipal Building,” Finance and Personnel Committee Chair Randy Messner said. “Two those items are what made the difference and those are items we talked about and planned for extensively.

“Outside of those two big items our budget was pretty flat again,” he said. “I have to thank the department heads for doing a great job turning in very sensible budgets.

We didn’t have to make many changes at all this year.”

Mayor Randy Meyer noted that the Municipal Building renovation project comprised 78 to 80 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation and the new fire truck accounted for 10 to 12 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation on the tax roll.

“We came into the budget process knowing that those type of numbers were going to be baked in the cake so to speak,” Meyer said. “The department heads turned in very responsible budgets and I commend them for all the work that they did.”

In other business, the council approved an operator license application for Sara E. Kapitz and well permits for 2014-2019.

Mayor Randy Mayer announced that the 26th annual Main Street Memories Parade will take place Saturday, Dec. 6, at 4:30 p.m. in downtown Sheboygan Falls.

The next Sheboygan Falls Common Council meeting will take place Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 6:30 p.m. in the lower level meeting room at the Sheboygan Falls Memorial Library.


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