Oct. 4, 2018 – West Bend, WI – It’s taken a couple of years but the City of West Bend announced this week it’s managed to reduce its debt by 40 percent. City administrator Jay Shambeau said the debt has dropped from $80 million down to $50 million since 2011.
On Monday Shambeau rolled out the 2019 preliminary budget. Highlights are below.
-Health insurance proposed at up to 9.79% increase – city is self insured and there are a couple bad years with health insurance claims and costs are going up in general and last year in the 2018 budget health insurance went up less than 2%.
-Net new construction is up roughly $32 million. That allows for an $289,000 levy increase. The city is not taxing to the max for 2019.
-Construction same but add two meetings to stay within a 2% increase.
-Addition of full-time police officer which is predominantly funded by the school district; now 4 officers dedicated to the school.
-Eliminating a full-time position in Engineering Department and in the Finance Department. From an organization it was felt the Engineering post could be eliminated. Finance post could be replaced with a 12-hour post from a full-time post.
-Up to 2% merit increase for employees included in 2019 proposed budget.
-Adjustments made to reduce overall budget by $505,000 from original department requests.
-Contingency currently at $56,000.
-Proposed tax rate to drop to from $8.51 down to $7.73. Rate estimated is a significant reduction but there will be a small tax increase with the reassessment of homes.
-Increased interest revenue by $30,000.
-Increased state debt collection program revenue by $52,500.
-Reduce tonnage and funding for salt usage in DPW by 596 tons. Lots of discussion of use of salt and chloride and using less salt.
-Shared revenue and expenditure restraint decreased by $51,000.
-No final revenue numbers on state transportation and computer aide as of yet.
Statements from Mayor Kraig Sadownikow:
-The average property value in West Bend went up about 12% and the proposed tax rate bill will go up 3.2% but property will be worth about 12% more. If your home went up less than 12% there will be many people whose bill will actually go down. The key piece to all of this is it’s only the city portion of the budget, we can’t control the school district, the county or MPTC. The city is doing what’s prudent and frugal, but we’re really aggressive toward trying to drop the tax rate.
-“Even with all of this the cost to operate the city of West Bend in the 2019 budget will be about 2% less than it was in 2011,” said Sadownikow. “Debt is down 40% or about $35 million since 2011 and our reserves are up 120% or $3 million.”
“Early in the first quarter the city will be rolling out a new capital projects and road maintenance methodology. I’ve been saying during 2013 and 2014. It will allow us to do some thing to attack major road repairs that folks are concerned about.”