The City of West Bend rolled out its 2017 preliminary operating budget this week. City Administrator Jay Shambeau and Assistant City Administrator Amy Reuteman crafted the plan.
After the presentation Mayor Kraig Sadownikow praised the effort. “Thanks to Jay Shambeau for coming in before you were actually an employee and Amy nice job, a lot has been thrown at you the last four, five, six months and you’re still here… that’s good,” he said.
The mayor said he was happy the “mill rate was holding steady and is attainable without sacrificing services and it’s certainly helping we’re seeing an uptick in development.”
“Personally I’d like to see us endeavor to bump up the merit pay increase. I’d like to see it doubled from 1 percent to 2 percent,” Sadownikow said.
“My challenge to Jay and Amy and department heads is to go through the budget again, it’s about a $65,000 line item for that additional 1 percent for non-represented employees.”
The mayor made clear this would be a “merit-pay increase so it would not be a flat, across the board 2-percent bump.”
There is a review process to receive the increase.
“Other than a maximum 1 percent I’d personally like to see us get to 2 percent,” said Sadownikow. “Some of these folks have been busting their tails especially this year with the challenges we’ve overcome and they’ve earned the opportunity to get a bit more.”
Shambeau acknowledge the request was a “fair challenge.”
“I’d say that would be a welcomed directive from the mayor and staff and it would be well received by employees,” said Shambeau.
Sadownikow acknowledged that budget process is getting a bit easier. He credited the reduction in debt, increase in reserves and development.
“We’re a lean, mean operation and as development comes back it should mean we have some breathing room in our budget moving forward,” he said.
The city of West Bend is working to hold the tax rate at $8.51.
There are several outstanding items revenue items from the state of Wisconsin. “Things could change and we’re awaiting the expenditure restraint numbers, the shared revenue transportation aid, the service to state facilities numbers and manufacturing assessments have not been received,” said Reuteman. “I will get the final numbers to you in the next couple weeks.”
Reuteman said final figures should before the council by October 17.
The 2016 City of West Bend budget was $22.4 million.