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W’bago looks at tax levy increase

By Staff | Sep 29, 2014

The Winnebago City Council set their preliminary levy at a special meeting last Tuesday night.

The council approved to set the preliminary levy at $592,925; an increase of 11.84 percent.

City administrator, Chris Ziegler, discussed some of the factors which were concerned when he began looking at the budget and levy for 2015.

“There was a 21 percent increase for the ambulance budget since we changed the pay structure this year for recruiting efforts,”?Ziegler said.

Other factors included:?an increase in the street department budget of $10,500 for seal coating next year; the police department overtime was over budget due to turnover and hiring processes which was factored in; and a change in the library fund to adjust insurance to have the materials are covered, as well.

“Well, it’s not a scary start,”?council member Rick Johnson said. “I’ve seen it a lot worse than that.”

The funds approved at the special meeting were set as; general taxes at $267,945.61, debt service was $144,979.39 and capital equipment at $180,000.

The City Council also used the special meeting to discuss the outlet store on Main Street which had been declared a danger to the public due to its unsound structure.

“I attended the county commissioner meeting along with Scott Robertson and Travis Winter,” Ziegler said. “They agreed to split the cost about 50 percent and asked us to look into demolition and redevelopment options.” The council approved a motion to begin advertising for bids for the demolition of the building.

“We need to have a plan in place,” mayor Jeremiah Schutt said.

Samples for asbestos testing have been taken and sent in and now the city will just have to wait for the results on that.

“The sooner we get this done, the sooner we’ll be in line,”?council member Jon Weerts said.