(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night approved the proposed 2021 budget for publication. The 16.9-million-dollar document includes a tax levy of $10.82-million dollars, which is a decrease of $33-thousand dollars from the budget adopted for the current fiscal year.
The 2021 budget is compliant with state revenue limits, coming in over a half-million dollars below the $11-million-dollar levy limit. The Operations and Maintenance portion of the budget totals $14.1-million dollars, an increase of $235-thousand dollars from the 2020 budget.
The council earlier this month approved a $5.9-million dollar borrowing plan for next year. The annual debt payments made with tax levy dollars in the 2021 budget is projected to decrease by nearly $235-thousand dollars to $2.66-million dollars.
There is a two-percent increase for all non-represented city employees proposed, complementing a 2.5-percent wage increase in the contracts for police and fire personnel. Health insurance costs are increasing 7.5-percent.
Attempts to reduce and eliminate the position of Community Development Manager Monday night were unsuccessful. The economic development role was approved in June of 2019, on a one-year trial basis, tasked with attracting new businesses to the city.
Alderman Mick Fischer made a motion to eliminate the $29-thousand-dollar city contracted position and instead direct $12-thousand dollars to the Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce, which he says is the best entity to handle economic development matters.
Alderwoman Jaclyn Shelton disagreed with Fischer’s assessment noting that the city has no control over what the Chamber does with its money. A majority of the council sided with Shelton. A subsequent motion to provide $12-thousand dollars in additional funding to the Chamber was approved.
The budget qualifies for the state’s Expenditure Restraint Program, which financially rewards municipalities that keep their spending in check. However, the city would not qualify for ERP if a referendum seeking to fund six new positions in the fire department is approved by voters.
Council action last night allows for publication of the budget with funding outcomes for both scenarios. Final budget adoption is slated for November 16.