10/23/17 – The city of Beaver Dam began 2018 budget deliberations in committee Monday night. The initial $16.2-million-dollar budget includes a tax levy of $10.5-million dollars, an increase of $636-thousand dollars, or 6.4-percent, from the current budget. The document as proposed is $95-thousand dollars over the state-imposed levy limit. If the city wants to comply with the state’s Expenditure Restraint Program, which rewards municipalities that keep their spending in check, $360-thousand dollars in changes would will have to be made. Department heads were given the directive to budget for a two-percent wage increase for non-protected employees, along with a one-percent increase beginning in October. A 13-percent increase in health insurance was anticipated but Finance Director John Somers says the city’s insurance carrier recently contacted him to say that number may decrease. The debt service portion of the budget, that’s the amount the city has to pay annually for what it borrows, is up $50-thousand dollars, or 2.3-percent, to $2.17-million dollars. The budget includes $20-thousand dollars for tourism and marketing; $31-thousand dollars for the replacement of mobile computers for the police department; $47-thousand dollars for new turnout gear for the fire department plus $12-thousand to commission a study for a second, north side fire station. City officials trimmed approximately 24-thousand dollars Monday, about a quarter of what is needed to meet state levy limits, with much of it coming from the fire department. The Administrative Committee will meet again next Monday to continue to trim red ink.