(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam Mayor Becky Glewen says the city is exhausting all avenues in trying to recoup the $330-thousand dollars lost because of a budgeting error.
“Of course it’s very unfortunate,” she says, “It’s caused myself a lot of sleepless nights, to get hit like this is very unnerving.”
The city’s former finance director, who was only with Beaver Dam for six months, apparently failed to submit the appropriate paperwork to the Department of Revenue for the state’s Expenditure Restraint Program. The ERP is aid given to municipalities that control annual spending in their budgets. The shortfall will be made-up with monies from the city’s general fund. Glewen told us Thursday on WBEV’s Community Comment that all efforts are being made to recover the lost funding.
“I’ve contacted the governor’s office,” she says, “I’m talking with [State Senator Scott] Fitzgerald’s office, I’m talking with Representative [Mark] Born’s office, they’ve been really good, talking between themselves, in trying to figure out how there might be a way to help us out.” She says there has been no positive news yet but they have not stopped trying.
Glewen says she has “qualms” about the Department of Revenue taking money that belongs to the city.
State Representative Mark Born confirmed Friday on WBEV that his office has been researching the matter. The Beaver Dam Republican says they even thought they’d discovered a solution for the city, only to realize that Beaver Dam was not the only municipality that had made the error.
“We’re still working on it,” he says, “but I’m not seeing, at this point, a path that we’re going to be able to help out but I’ve told the mayor ‘I haven’t given up yet’.”
The issue, Born says, is that the money has already been divided up.
“The problem is that it didn’t disappear, we know exactly where it is…it’s gone” he says, “it was given to other municipalities. So at this point to tell several hundred municipalities ‘oh well, we’re not actually going to give you what we said were going to give you because someone came in after the deadline and now were going to take some of that money back and give it to someone else,’ I mean that’s not real, that’s not the way to do this.”
Born says it is unfortunate that Beaver Dam “wound up on the wrong side of this.”
“But that’s also why it’s not easy to fix,” he says, “the money is spent. No one stole it, no one misplaced it, it’s not [Beaver Dam’s] money, its state taxpayer money that [the city] would have been eligible for but when they didn’t follow the standards, other people that are eligible for it got it.”
There were at least three other communities that made the same error as Beaver Dam.
Listen to Thursday’s Community Comment program with Mayor Glewen here:
Listen to Friday’s Community Comment program with Rep. Born here: