Village holds special budget meeting
By Ben Rodgers
HOBART – If the village administrator gets his proposed budget passed the mill rate will stay the same and services will be expanded.
The Hobart Village Board met in a special meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 24 to review the budget proposed by Aaron Kramer, village administrator.
“In summary, the budget is balanced, the mil rate does not go up, we’re doing a record number of road projects, we added one police officer, the employees are getting compensation and we have a contingency fund for the first time,” Kramer said.
The proposed mill rate is $4.41 per $1,000 of equalized value, the same as it was last year.
Due to the additional growth in the village’s property tax base, Kramer said no increase to the current rate is a good place to start budget discussions.
“As it is proposed, we should keep it right at that number, so no growth for the taxpayers,” he said.
The 2018 assessed value is estimated to be $804 million of which just under $665 million is outside of two TID districts. With the increase in property values outsides the TIDs and maintaining the current mill rate the village is projecting a total lax levy of $2,894,000.
The majority of the levy will go into the general fund, with capital projects receiving the second most, and debt service receiving the least.
Two factors contributed to the growth, the first being aid from the state for transportation.
“State transportation aid was a pleasant surprise,” Kramer said. “It increased $34,000 for the village, a 15 percent increase.”
For building permits/inspections the village is projecting an increase of $125,000 or 67 percent.
This is based on the five-year average and anticipated projects booked for 2018. This figure is conservative and does not include any new construction.
The village is planning $1,070,641 in road projects with 85 percent of the cost coming from general capital and 15 percent covered by storm water funds.
“The main thing to point out is this is one of the largest capital budgets you’ve had in recent years that didn’t require borrowing, and we’re doing more miles of road repair without requiring borrowing then we’ve ever done,” Kramer said.
Projects for the year include North Overland Road (Trout Creek to Hickory) Hunters Run, Meadow Lane (North Overland to terminus), Trout Creek ( Hidden to North Overland), and Hickory Way, which may get pushed back a year.
“That’s the one project I could not fit in, so it moves to the top of the list for 2019 or for the summer of 2018,” Kramer said of Hickory Way.
The proposed budget calls for adding a police officer, with the projected costs to be offset as much as possible in a reduction of the department’s part-time costs.
The proposed budget also includes a 40 cent per hour increase for all full-time village employees, with an additional tenure-based increase of $100 per year of service to the village.
Plus for the first time ever, the village will have a contingency, or rainy day fund under the proposed budget.
Through accounting, Kramer was able to move $60,000 into the fund to be used for unforeseen expenses.
“You can drop that number, you can make that number higher, it’s sort of our balance right there,” he said.
One way to village might use the contingency fund is to cover an increase in the cost of The Press, currently provided to all residents.
Multi-Media Channels, a subsidiary of Brown County Publishing, proposed an increase from $8 per year, per household, to $11.25 in order to cover operational, printing and mailing costs. The proposed change would cost the village roughly $3,000 that was not budgeted for.
The village asked any residents interested in keeping their subscription to The Press to call the village office at 920-869-1011.
The next meeting to review other budget components, water, storm water, TID 1, TID 2 and sanitary sewer will be on Tuesday, Nov. 7.