Council backs $9 million budget, document praised|
|A 2014 budget that nibbles at the edge of $9 million won backing from the Antigo Common Council on Wednesday.|
Meeting informally as a committee of the whole, aldermen unanimously backed the spending plan calling for overall expenditures of $8.9 million, an increase of 3.14 percent. Debt service will fall 4.86 percent, to $1.9 million, due in part to improving property tax receipts from the city’s tax incremental finance districts.
Vote was 8-0 with Tim Kassis absent.
“I’d like to commend Clerk-Treasurer Kaye Matucheski, Administrator Mark Desotell and the entire city staff,” Mayor Bill Brandt said. “They did an excellent job preparing this budget under tight economic restraints.”
While spending is up $273,043, the levy—which reflects the amount of dollars which must be collected from local property owners—will dip by $31,239 to $3.35 million.
That leads to a mill rate of $9.17 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, a decline of about 8 cents. That could do lower, since preliminary estimates from the state indicate that values are increasing slightly.
Prior to the vote, Matucheski offered a half-hour synopsis of the budget, taking aldermen through the comprehensive 177-page budget book.
According to that overview:
—clerical and Department of Public Works union employees will now be required to pay 7 percent of retirement benefits and will receive a 1.66 percent cost-of-living wage increase as stipulated under the state’s Act 10.
—fire and police union members will not have to pay toward retirement benefits, but will likely not receive any increase in compensation. Negotiations with those unions are ongoing.
—there will be no change in the Antigo Public Library, with the city budgeting $306,690. Langlade County finances the other half of the levy.
—the ambulance levy will decline about $50,000 due to the service’s improving financial position. The savings will be placed in the reserve for a new fire truck under the capital improvement plan.
—and operating budgets have been adjusted to reflect higher fuel costs, with public works also receiving more dollars for supplies such as salt, hot mix and signage.
Matucheski said the amount the city must budget to pay existing debts will fall due to higher contributions from the tax incremental finance districts. Valuations are moving in a positive direction, meaning that the districts can cover more of the payments for improvements made within their boundaries through increased tax collections.
For 2014, Matucheski is estimating debt service at $1.9 million, a drop of $98,530. The city is rolling those funds into the capital improvement account, setting aside dollars for the eventual replacement of trucks and equipment in the street department.
The council also approved a series of donation requests, but not before several members fussed over dollars earmarked for the Boys & Girls Club of Langlade County.
On a 6-2 vote, aldermen rebuffed an attempt by Reinardt Balcerzak to trim the club’s $10,000 request to $5,000, with Joe Kapusta joining him in supporting the decrease.
A second motion to trim the request from $10,000 to $7,500, the amount donated in 2013, was inked on an identical 6-2 vote.
Other donations approved include:
—$2,500 to the Family Resource Center.
—$2,500 for the Langlade County Humane Society, with Phil Beck opposed.
—and $15,000 for AVAIL, the local advocacy agency for victims of domestic and sexual abuse. Beck voted against that donation as well.
BUDGET ACTION — In the top photo, city of Antigo Clerk-Treasurer Kaye Matucheski reviews components of the 2014 budget with members of the Antigo Common Council Wednesday. Also pictured is Mark Desotell, director of administrative services. The graph illustrates how the city's $8.9 million spending package will be distributed between the various city departments. The council, meeting as a committee of the whole advanced the final plan to a public hearing on Nov. 6 with adoption slated for Nov. 13.
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