Waupun Common Council Hears Initial 2019 Budget Presentation

(Waupun) The Waupun Common Council heard an update on the 2019 budget last Tuesday night. While no numbers were unveiled, City Administrator Kathy Schlieve used the opportunity to outline the strategy of department heads heading into the budget process.

Schlieve is requesting, among other things, a compensation study for city employees in her administrative budget. Schlieve also wants to see more partnerships to help foster economic development and more emphasis on branding Waupun as a “Great Place To Live, Play and Do Business.” Site readiness in city industrial parks is also identified as a need.

The Finance and Information Technology Department wants the city website to include online payment options and also seeks to have a fiber optic line connect all municipal buildings.

The Department of Public Works budget will focus on becoming energy efficient by replacing old light fixtures with energy-efficient lighting, sculpture maintenance and creating a new facilities plan. An ADA-upgrade to Wilcox Park was also identified along with reconstruction of Madison Street and seal coating various other streets.

Needs identified by the Waupun Fire Department include discussions on the addition of EMS or first responder services; exploring third party billing with an outside company; reducing firefighter exposure to carcinogens and continuing to study the consolidation of city and community fire departments.

The Waupun Police Department goals include getting back to full-staff and evaluating the hiring process. Chief Scott Louden wants to add a half-time clerical position to relieve time spent by supervisory staff. Louden says call volume is also up and there are increased patrol needs that could be addressed through supervisory staff availability.

The Waupun Public Library is hoping to continue with their newspaper digitization project; currently only 1858 to 1890 is available by computer paid for with a grant.

The Parks and Recreation Department’s goal is to survey the community on parks participation while also bolstering Senior Center attendance.

The budget adopted last fall totaled $11-million-dollars with a tax levy of just over $3-million dollars, an increase of 12-percent or $321-thousand dollars from the previous budget. The 2019 Waupun city budget will be presented in committee on September 25.