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Village Council Votes to Raise Millage Rate

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Increased operating costs,  replacing outdated equipment, improved services and planning for the future were key topics of discussion during Tuesday’s budget workshop and regular Village Council Meeting. In the end, there seemed to be no more options than to increase the millage rate for Village residents.

The council, with all members except Sharon Sherwood in agreement, voted to raise the current rate by 2.356 mils, bringing the total millage rate to 10 mils for Village residents. Dave Keener, who sponsored the resolution along with Gina Lammers said “My biggest concern is to be able to function and improve our services as well as the state of our equipment”.  President Joe DeBoe wants “to make sure that the Village is still here and functioning for our kids and grandkids”.

The Council has additional budget meetings set to discuss capital improvement and additional budget calculations now that the millage rate has been set for the 2017 year. The Village budget runs March through February.

The increase would show up on summer property taxes.

Councilwoman Sharon Sherwood, who voted against the increase, wanted to look for additional savings within the budget. Village Manager Tom Nolte and other council members did not think there were anymore significant cuts that could be made to generate the savings needed.

A 2.356 increase would increase the property taxes of a home valued at $100,000 with a taxable value of $50,000 by $117.80 per year. A home    valued at $200,000 with a taxable value of $100,000 would increase by $235.60 a year.

The increase would generate an additional $66,947.30 of tax revenue annually based on current taxable values.

The working idea is that 2 mils, or about $56,831 would go into the equipment fund while the remainder would go into the general fund.

At the last council meeting, Paul Lammers presented the Council with detailed information about the aging equipment and the costs for updating the equipment. The dump truck currently used is over 30 years old and is in such bad shape that an old stop sign is used to cover the rusted out floor on the drivers side. The Village will be posting the open meetings for public comment next week.

The increase in the millage rate comes on top of water and sewer rate increases this past fall.

In other business, the Village Council asked Tom Nolte to setup Village email accounts for all employees and council members so that they can be compliant with Freedom of Information Requests for email correspondence.

Paul Lammers reported the DPW had completed another 24 installations of new smart meters for water customers. The new meters allow reading from the street rather than having to manually read each meter. They are more accurate and will be installed at every water customer over the coming years.

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