Nov. 14, 2016 – West Bend, WI – The final draft of the 2017 city of West Bend budget was released tonight during the Finance Committee meeting. Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said the mil rate will remain at $8.51.
Sadownikow gave this address to council.
There is no doubt we are running a tight ship
I believe in government it is our responsibility to turn out the best possible product at the lowest possible cost…..we are doing that
Instead of raising taxes on those we serve these past years, we have worked hard to grow our way out of a recession, grow our way out of reduced property values an unhealthy level of debt and uncomfortably low reserves. It has been a challenging 5 years, however, we can be proud of the fact we used creativity, patience and cooperation to achieve our financial goals rather than the simple solution of adding more money to the pot. As was stated, the total cost to operate our City is at 2011 levels and we are stronger than we were then. We are poised for growth.
We sit here today with a budget that once again maintains the tax rate, a budget that has grown road maintenance 40% since 2012, reduced debt payments by 20% since 2014….$500k since last year alone. We sit here with a budget that invests 25% more in our Library than is required by State statutes a budget that offers the potential for a merit pay increase to our employees higher than in recent memory and a budget that continues heavy investment in our Parks and Downtown.
I envision 2017 being a year of planning for the future. Expect to see a Capital Improvement plan prioritizing needed investment over the next 5-10 years.
You will see an investment in Human Resources with an emphasis on health care and a plan offering more opportunity for employee training and ongoing education, we need to invest in our people.
Significant effort will be directed toward long range planning to ensure West Bend continues to have property available for existing and new businesses to expand and grow here.
I am confident we will continue to see tight budgets. We should. The dollars we invest are not our own. We should spend the money wisely and we have. It is easy for me to look any constituent in the eyes and confirm this council, this group of department heads and this City staff is being prudent with the public’s money.
At the same time I recognize this Council’s responsibility is not only to manage the check book, but also leave our Public Safety, Infrastructure and Quality of Life attributes in better condition than we found them. Within budget constraints, I am committed to just that.
In conclusion, please know our service levels remain high, our business climate and entrepreneurial endeavors have rebounded, and we continue to be a proud and creative organization.
We are proving offering high quality and diverse services can go hand in hand with running that tight ship.
Thank you to all who had a hand in preparing the 2017 budget, it truly is a team effort, and a special thanks to our constituents who we continue to serve.
-Kraig K. Sadownikow
Mayor – City of West Bend, WI USA