Tax levy to increase 2% Print
Community
Written by DAVE BOEHLER   
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 18:13

Town Board says rate of inflation justifies increase

    The Town of Fredonia’s 2018 budget was approved at its meeting Nov. 8, and it increases the property tax levy by 2%.
    The main reason is to address road maintenance, according to Town Chairman Rich Mueller.
    “The board felt 2% was the rate of inflation and that we could justify it,” Mueller said.
    The $748,102 budget, which represents a $19,247 — or 2.6%­ ­— increase in spending and calls for a tax levy increase of $9,747 to $497,102.
    Mueller felt there isn’t much else that was significant when talking about the budget.
    “I guess that’s in the eye of the beholder,” Mueller said. “We’re a conservative group of people. We’re not trying to rip off the taxpayers. We all pay taxes, too.”
    There were only two questions asked by members of the audience.
    One person asked why payroll is increasing from $50,000 to $65,000 — an increase of 30%.
    “That’s not because anybody got any raises,” Mueller said. “I mean the last time any board members got any raises was probably over 10 years ago.
    “The deputy clerk is putting in more hours and we feel in order to keep people at the Recycling Center to help on Saturdays, we need to pay them more.”
    The other question concerned a revenue drop of 23.1% — from $13,000 to $10,000 — for recyclables and miscellaneous items.
    Mueller explained the market for plastics, cardboard and aluminum cans that are sold to a recycler has slowed over the years.
    “They come and take them off your hands for nothing, basically,” Mueller said. “But at least you’re not paying to have them hauled out. That used to be a good income for us a few years back but it’s no longer there.”
    There were several other measures taken.
    n A number of resolutions were also approved by residents, including one that allows the town to exceed the state limit of $5,000 per mile for road maintenance and construction.
    Another authorized the town to donate $1,000 to the Random Lake Cemetery Association, $500 to Ozaukee County Economic Development and $7,500 to the National Flag Day Foundation.
    Mueller read a letter from a resident wondering why the foundation was getting that much money when the Americanism Center is never open.
    “That bothers me a little bit,” Foundation President John Janik said. “Any time anybody wants to get in – our telephone numbers are on our website – we will open up.
    “We just don’t want people sitting there with nobody coming. We will open at any time.”
    Foundation members pointed out that its building was open every third Sunday of the month for a year and no one came. So it is now open on certain holidays and by appointment.
     n Deputy Clerk Cheryl Gorton was designated as deputy clerk and treasurer.
    “The reason for this is it was brought to our attention that Cheryl collects a lot of taxes in the office, and unless she’s a deputy treasurer, she cannot do that,” Mueller said.
    n Town Hall is considering a new computer system for the office to replace Quick Books.
    But the purchase was deferred until next year to have more time to work with it.  
    “The annual maintenance on (a new system) is considerably less than the annual maintenance on the one we’re using now,” town clerk Dave Gorton said.