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Village looking beyond budgets PDF Print E-mail
Written by MARK JAEGER   
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 19:24

Advisers will work with officials on financial management plan to guide decisions for five years

Aside from losing a few pounds, there is no more common New Year’s resolution that people make than to get their financial lives in order.

Village of Saukville officials have opted to take that process to a much grander scale, agreeing to work with their financial adviser, Ehlers Inc., to prepare a five-year financial management plan.

Trustees agreed to contract with Ehlers for a flat fee of $17,000 to pull together the management plan.

Because of the sweeping nature of the anticipated plan, that cost will be split between the village’s general fund, tax-incremental financial districts, as well as the water and wastewater utilities.

Michael Harrigan, Ehlers senior financial adviser, will lead the planning team.

In addition to helping the village plot out a feasible capital outlay plan, the consultants will suggest all financial options for anticipated spending.

According to the contract, Ehlers will also be asked to model anticipated impacts of pending union contracts, proposed staffing changes and projections for contracted services.

The plan preparation includes an aggressive timeline with a goal of having a final plan in place by summer.

Next month, the Ehlers team will meet with village staff members and its contracted engineer to discuss upcoming capital project and cost estimates.

From those sessions, budget projections will be prepared.

Trustees and staff will take part in a series of four workshops, planned for March through June.

Additional workshops can be scheduled if the plan is not ready following the planned sessions.

The financial management plan will not be binding until it is formally adopted by the Village Board.

Even after the plan is adopted, Ehlers will provide annual updates for a fee of $1,500 starting in 2017. The cost for subsequent updates will be adjusted based on the rate of inflation.

“This process is not just for the staff. It has to involve the whole board,” Village Administrator Dawn Wagner said prior to trustees unanimously agreeing to contract with Ehlers to guide the planning process.

“Obviously, we are already in a fairly strong financial position, but I think going through this process will only make us stronger.”

Village President Barb Dickmann has also been a strong proponent of having a long-range plan in place.

Dickmann also championed a push to contract with CivicPlus, a Kansas-based company, to revitalize the village’s online presence. 

The firm handles the web sites for more than 2,000 municipal governments in the U.S. and Canada.

In addition to updating the appearance of the website, a host of new features will be made accessible from the site.

In addition to a full agenda center for upcoming meetings, there will be a records archive, and access to the village calendar, staff directory, emergency alerts and all forms and permits.

Trustees unanimously approved a four-year contract with the company, endorsing a two-tier payment plan negotiated by Wagner.

The payments will be $9,710 a year for the first two years, and $4,500 for each of the last two years of the agreement.

“I think this is a great tool to promote our community. Frankly, it is time to do something,” Wagner said.

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