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Budget 2013: Slight Levy Increase, but Slight Decrease in Tax Bills

Short and sweet budget presentation and a public hearing without public speakers reveals little change to taxpayer's bottom line

Residents had their turn to speak out about the proposed 2013 budget, and while members of citizen's group Stand Up Muskego were part of about 20 residents who came out to hear what the impact would be, no one spoke when the public hearing was opened.

The meeting opened with a brief presentation on the budget overview by City Finance Manager Sharon Mueller.

Alderman Dan Soltysiak also read two letters from residents wanting to weigh in on the budget. Resident Kathy McGillis expressed suppport for the Racine Avenue recreational trail, and Tom Bykowski expressed his opposition to a proposed one percent cost of living increase for city employees.

"I don't believe Muskego employees shouldn't get raises while their constituents are struggling," Bykowski wrote.

 

Among the budget features for 2013:

  • Minimal change to tax levy, increasing by 0.591 percent to $12,0006,452
  • Tax rate decrease of 0.17 percent, or a $0.01 decrease to $4.40/$1,000 of assessed value
  • Overall impact on a home valued at $300,000: $2 decrease in tax bill

In addition, the budget includes the addition of a GIS/Planner position mid-year, and the replacement of a full time 'floater' position between departments with a part time customer service clerk at city hall.

Stand Up Muskego had sent a letter to the common council and the media, expressing their opposition to additional increases to the parks and recreation budget for Park Arthur. Initially submitted as an $800,000 package, aldermen had voted to include a pavilion with permanent bathrooms to bring the total to $1.1 million.

Spokesperson Tracy Snead, former District 1 Alderman, clarified the group's stance when questioned about the objection.

"Every year Craig Anderson puts forth a budget amount for the parks and never has council added to that budget," she told Muskego Patch. "There are stakeholders, like the Muskego Athletic Association, Warriors Baseball and the like, who do want control over what goes into the parks. We are questioning what happens to those stakeholders if the city is just going to pay for things like a pavilion."

Warriors Youth Baseball has come forward to help raise funds for the outfield fencing at the large field in the park, and while the parks budget includes funding the fence, Snead said the same process wasn't followed for the addition of the pavilion.

"It leaves the stakeholders wondering why they should fund it, as the city has already taken that step," she added.

The Common Council will meet to discuss and vote on the 2013 budget Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

William B Murphy October 23, 2012 at 04:55 PM
$200,000.00 for bathrooms?.................
Denise Konkol (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 06:03 PM
The bathrooms are in a larger pavilion
Denise Konkol (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Here's further clarification on which structure is indicated in this spending. http://www.ci.muskego.wi.us/parksrecreation/DeptHome/WhatsNew/tabid/905/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/113/Park-Arthur-Approved-Conceptual-Plan.aspx The Pavilion that was suggested to be included by Ald. Schaumberg and approved by a straw poll by the COW is located in the middle of the park, a fair distance from the sports fields and to the best of my understanding would include restrooms and be similar to the pavilions that are in the county park and other City parks available for rental to all residents in the same way. There are also concession stands in the conceptual drawing for the sporting fields, but those were not discussed or included in the approved straw poll vote.
Simple Bacon October 23, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Too bad no one bothered to comment at the hearing last night. After approval tonight it's all a done deal and you can save your complaints for next year.
Denise Konkol (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 08:48 PM
It was a good thing I was seated because I was stunned when no one got up to speak. We ran three reminders, here and on social media. Don't worry people will complain how they never get to complain.
Simple Bacon October 23, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Surely :)

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