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W’bago City Council sets levy hike at 20.13%

By Staff | Sep 27, 2020

Winnebago city administrator Jacob Skluzacek, as well as everyone else in attendance at the City Council meeting on Thursday, was wearing a face mask.

At a special meeting last Thursday, Sept. 24, the Winnebago City Council passed a proposed levy for the 2021 tax year which would be a 20.13 percent increase over last year.

“I want to remind everyone this is a preliminary levy and the actual levy will be much lower,” city administrator Jacob Skluzacek told the council. “We are just starting here and will continue to work that number down. I anticipate trimming $70,000-90,000 off from this preliminary number.”

Council member Rick Johnson felt that was a good goal.

“I would be happy if the final numbers put us at a five to six percent increase,” Johnson shared with the other council members.

One of the big increases this year was the amount of debt service, which went up $40,000-50,000, according to Skluzacek.

The council also talked about other items to be considered when planning the budget. The idea of putting together a community fundraiser to help pay for upgrading the swimming pool was discussed.

“I think we need to do whatever we can to get the community involved,” Johnson remarked.

There was some positive news regarding the pool.

“The lining we put in the baby pool held up very well this year,” council member Calvin Howard commented.

There was also discussion on other budget items.

“It looks like our health insurance will have a 4.8 percent increase,” Skluzacek shared.

There was also discussion on the open position of deputy city clerk.

“We have interviewed three people and would like to open the application period for another two weeks to try and reach a little larger area,” Skluzacek said. “It is a difficult position to fill and there are many openings around the state.”

Also on the agenda for the meeting was the consideration of a quote from Richard L. Anderson Construction LLC. for the repair of broken asphalt at the waste water plant in town.

The bid, which was $4,918, includes the removal of the broken asphalt and replacing it with 624 square feet of concrete paving on the west edge of the parking lot.

The council voted to approve the bid.

Approval was also given for a repair bid of a compressor on a geothermal unit located at the Kaduce shop. The total cost of the repairs came to $2,078.27.

The council also voted to accept the resignations of two part-time police officers, Scott DiLorenzo and Andrew Thorsen.