10/30/17 – The Beaver Dam Administrative Committee advanced the 2018 budget Monday night to the full council. The $16.1-million-dollar document includes a tax levy of $10.42-million dollars, an increase of $491-thousand dollars, or 4.9-percent, from the current budget. City officials went into the meeting having to trim over $70-thousand dollars to meet state levy limits. That red ink was wiped away before deliberations got underway because of more favorable health insurance numbers than originally anticipated. A 13-percent increase in health insurance costs was offered by current provider Unity/ Quartz Health Solutions but Finance Director John Somers says a new proposal from Dean had an increase of 1.7-percent. Savings from the move total $115-thousand dollars.
City officials nonetheless cut an additional $47-thousand dollars. The cuts included the removal of a drone for the Emergency Management Department and the elimination of a security system for the library. The committee also cut a proposed $20-thousand-dollar marketing and tourism promotions request from the mayor in half to $10-thousand dollars. Even after the cuts, the city needs to find another approximately $150-thousand dollars to meet the requirements of the state’s Expenditure Restraint Program, which rewards municipalities that elect to keep their spending in check. Somers says that goal could be realized with an accounting maneuver to utilize short-term borrowing for a portion of the capital outlay. Since debt is exempt from the formula, Somers says the city is either going to levy taxes to pay back debt or levy taxes to purchase the equipment.
The public hearing and budget adoption is slated for November 20.