(Beaver Dam) City officials in Beaver Dam began budget discussions in committee Wednesday night. The proposed 2019 document totals $16.52-million-dollars and includes a tax levy of $10.56-million dollars, an increase of $231-thousand dollars, or two-point-one-six-percent (2.16%), from the current budget. The mill rate as proposed would be $9.95-per one-thousand dollars of assessed value, a decrease of 14-cents from the $10.09-per-thousand tax rate adopted last November. Equalized property values in the city are up roughly three-percent (3%) to one-billion, one-hundred-and-six-million, eight-hundred-forty-four-thousand, four hundred dollars ($1,106,844,400). The budget is compliant with state-imposed levy limits and the state’s Expenditure Restraint Program.
City Finance Director John Somers says there were also significant savings in health insurance over last year. Initially estimated at a three-percent (3%) increase, the city is looking at a 24-percent decrease next year. Somers attributes the sharp decline to Beaver Dam’s recently approved participation in a health insurance consortium with multiple area communities.
Highlights from the budget include a two-percent (2%) wage increase for city employees. The fire department is requesting an additional firefighter/paramedic position. The Parks, Forestry and Facilities Department is seeking a full-time custodial position. The Community Activities and Services Department is asking to convert a part-time Activities Specialist position to a full-time Recreation Supervisor.
Capital outlay requests total $506-thousand dollars, up from the $421-thousand approved last year. That includes funding in the police department for a new K-9 vehicle and solar powered speed signs. The fire department wants turnout gear replacements and thermal imaging cameras. There are also requests for a replacement aeration fountain and new sand at Crystal Lake Park, enhancements to the Tower Parking Lot restroom, upgrades to the Swan Park bandshell and wayfinding signs throughout the city to direct people to various community landmarks. Budget discussions continue next Wednesday and will include talks on next year’s borrowing plan for streets, large equipment purchases and possibly continued downtown revitalization work.
Find the preliminary budget here: