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W’bago sets levy

By Staff | Sep 18, 2011

The Winnebago City Council unanimously approved a 2012 preliminary budget Tuesday night.

City Administrator Austin Bleess unveiled a 6.76 percent levy increase to council members.

“It’s a fairly balanced budget,” Bleess says. “It’s a good proposal and a good starting point. I am sure we will make modifications in the coming months, but this is a good start.”

Before laying out the preliminary budget, Bleess discussed funds needed with all of the cities department heads.

“I asked what they would need for next year and where they would be for capital outlay,” Bleess says. “They have all been consulted.”

“Overall I am very impressed with the budget,” Councilman Chris Ziegler says. “I do appreciate that the franchise fees are helping out the revenue side, otherwise we would have had some more work ahead of us.”

Ziegler felt a levy increase of 6.76 percent is a good starting point, but would like to see that number fall to 3 percent.

“I am confident we can get our final levy down to 3 percent in December,” Bleess says.

The final levy will be approved at a council meeting on Dec. 13.

I am very comfortable with a levy between 3 and 4 percent,” Councilman Rick Johnson says. “I don’t think we want to go any lower than 3 percent just for paperwork purposes. Overall, the budget appears to be in good shape and a lot of work went into it”