City budget proposal includes 6.87 percent tax rate increase

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Cameron Bren

The Middleton City Council in its first budget meeting swiftly authorized a proposed annual budget for publication.  A summary of all budgets is published on page 21 of this edition. 

The city will hold a public hearing on November 6 to consider residents’ input before voting on a final budget, scheduled for November 18.   

The 2015 budget proposal calls for a mill rate increase of 6.87% over the 2014 mill rate.  The total General Fund operating budget comes to $23,363,977 with a tax levy of $16,252,869 and non-levy sources totaling $7,111,108.

“Both the Finance Committee and Common Council remarked about how smooth the 2015 budget deliberations have gone,” said city Finance Director John Lehman.  “This is definitely reflective of all department directors, managers and other’s hard work, team efforts and support throughout the process.  I am very appreciative as well.”

The Common Council’s budget deliberation meetings tentatively scheduled for October 15,16, 22, 23 and 29 are now cancelled.  The council is  scheduled to meet two times after the the Nov. 6 public hearing to possibly make changes based on citizen input.  The Common Council is then scheduled to approve the 2015 Budget Resolution for all city funds and activities on Nov. 18.

The mill ( tax)  rate recommended by the Finance Committee for approval is 7.00.

The initial mill rate required to support the 2015 General Fund Requested Budget was 7.04 or a 7.48% increase over the 2014 mill rate.  The Finance Committee managed to adjust expenditures and revenues reaching a net decrease of $90,694 from the 2015 Requested Budget amounts.

While considering budget requests, the committee prioritized 2015 Capital program expenditures for road reconstruction and resurfacing.  The proposed budget allocates $1,283,000 for road reconstruction on Valley Ridge Rd. and Allen Blvd., as well as design and engineering for resurfacing Park St. and additional road chip sealing and crack filling around the city.  

The committee also gave precedence to the Capital program budget requests where grant funding is available. The committee decided those projects should receive 2015 Capital funding to take advantage of externally contributed fiscal resources.  Another priority was remediation of unfavorable conditions in public places, such as the employee entrance to the library that is in a deteriorated state.

 A boon for the Finance Committee, the 2015 contract with Pellitteri for trash and recycling collection is expected to be $105,000 less than originally projected.  The Finance Committee approved using $83,000 of the funds to create and hire an additional police officer that the department is requesting for 2015.  Of the remaining $22,000, $18,303  will go to the 2015 Capital program with the final $3,697 going into the general fund contingency account.



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