Glewen Reflects On 2018 Budget Process

(Beaver Dam) With one budget under her belt helming the city, Beaver Dam Mayor Becky Glewen says she has learned a lot from the process on how to approach future budgets. Glewen, who was elected mayor last April, told us recently on WBEV’s Community Comment that she looks forward to being able to approach the budget as a yearlong process. Glewen says she also wants the council to be a bigger part of the process. Beaver Dam’s $16-million-dollar budget has a tax levy of $10.3-million dollars, an increase of $445-thousand dollars, or four-percent, from last year’s document. The mill rate of $10.16 per thousand dollars of assessed value increased 24-cents. Glewen defended the accounting maneuvers employed in the 2018 budget that allowed the city to qualify for the state’s Expenditure Restraint Program, which rewards communities that keep spending in check. The city needed to trim approximately $120-thousand dollars to qualify. Instead, the city skirted state-imposed levy limits by utilizing short-term borrowing for a portion of capital outlay that is being paid back this month. She says a lot of communities are having this issue. The state legislature is reportedly aware of the accounting maneuvers used by some municipal treasurers to qualify for the restraint program. State Representative Mark Born of Beaver Dam, who sits on the Joint Finance Committee, told us recently on Community Comment that the statute that allows such exceptions will likely be tightened up in the next year.