11/21/17 – The Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night adopted the 2018 budget. The $16-million-dollar document includes a tax levy of $10.3-million dollars, an increase of $445-thousand dollars, or four-percent, from the current budget. The mill rate is $10.16 per thousand dollars of assessed value, up 24-cents from the $9.92 rate adopted last year. Equalized property values in the city are up around three-percent to just over $1.1-billion dollars.
City employees will see a three-percent salary increase. However, an amendment to the budget approved Monday night will reduce the subsidy that employees get for their health insurance deductible. The city currently fully funds employee deductibles with single plans getting $1350 every year while those with family plans get $2700. Starting next year, the city will only give employees on single plans $1000 toward the deductible while those on family plans will get $2000. The total savings for the city is $50-thousand dollars. Council President Robert Ballweg says another alternative that had been considered would have significantly increased deductibles.
The council eliminated funding for a study to look into a second, northside fire station and that money was used to restore cuts to tourism and marketing. Mayor Becky Glewen requested the marketing funds and saw her $20-thousand-dollar request cut in half in committee only to be added back in last night, plus $2000. Alderman Ken Anderson was one of two alderpersons voting against the budget. Anderson says he was against changes in health insurance and also said that he does not think that the mayor should take money from the taxpayers to give to private individuals for marketing. The budget also includes $47-thousand dollars for new turnout gear for the fire department and $39-thousand dollars for the replacement of mobile computers for the police department.
The city needed to find approximately $120-thousand dollars to meet the requirements of the state’s Expenditure Restraint Program, which rewards municipalities that elect to keep their spending in check. City Finance Director John Somers says program compliance was realized with an accounting maneuver, skirting state-imposed levy limits by utilizing short-term borrowing for a portion of capital outlay that will be paid back in January.