Horicon Adopts 2020 City Budget

(Horicon) The Horicon City Council unanimously adopted their 2020 budget Tuesday night, one week after officials wound up deadlocked at three votes apiece. Under state statute, support from four of the six alderpersons (two-thirds majority) is needed to adopt the budget while city ordinance goes one step further in requiring five of six (three-fourths majority).

Alderman Forrest Frami voted against the budget last week because of questions raised during the public hearing. The city clerk-treasurer addressed each question raised at the onset of last night’s meeting, which Frami appreciated.

“If the public has questions, we owe it to them to give them the answers,” Frami says, “I didn’t think a couple more days were going to hurt us.”

The $3.9-million-dollar budget is up roughly $100-thousand dollars from the previous budget. The $2.4-million-dollar levy increased $60-thousand dollars. The mill rate of $11.17-per one thousand dollars of assessed value is down 71-cents from last year’s mill rate of $11.88. Equalized values are increasing in Horicon by as much as four percent.

The city held-off on major projects like road reconstruction this year to help offset the spike taxpayers saw on their bills last December. Mayor Jim Grigg says there are two road projects on tap for next year. That includes the complete concrete reconstruction of West Lake Street from Vine Street to the bridge just past John Deere and the mill and overlay of Oak Lane and Division Street near the new grade school and high school. The work near the school is contingent on the school’s referendum construction being completed in time. Grigg says there will be a lot of bonding this spring as the city is looking at a “busy year.”

Complicating matters this year was an attempt by John Deere to have the assessed value of their new expansion lowered. The state declined the request.

The budget includes a seven-percent increase for department heads. Grigg calls that a placeholder number as the city awaits the results of a salary study commissioned after discovering how difficult it was to fill the vacant DPW Supervisor position earlier this year.