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Ashwaubenon tax levy sees no increase

By Annette Aubinger

ASHWAUBENON – The Ashwaubenon tax rate will remain the same this year as last year and there will be no increase.

The tax rate will remain at $6.12 per $1,000 of home value in the village.

Though the rate remains the same, there is a difference in allocation.

Last year, 70 cents of the $6.12 went towards paying for three referendums.

This year, 75 cents of the $6.12 will help to pay off the three referendums.

Mary Kardoskee, village president, said this is the first time she got involved with the budget from the beginning to the end and it was a very time consuming project.

She thanked Greg Wenholz, village finance director and Allison Swanson, village manager for doing an “awesome job.”

Wenholz reviewed the budget with the board. He said the process started later this year towards the end of summer.

Because of that, all the state numbers were in and the tax levy will not have changes.

Wenholz complimented the staff by saying it is not like Christmas where you wish for something and hope to get it.

Each department has a three to five year plan and they follow that plan each budget year when they make requests.

“The staff worked hard together and that helped because they understand the process,” Wenholz said.

Wenholz said the village hired two public works employees because of the additional growth of the village. Sixty percent of their salaries will be applied against the storm utility funds.

The IT department will also be receiving a part time employee to focus on projects in the village.

He told the board more things are depended upon electronically.

The village has contracted with a programmer and programs are in place, so those hours were reduced.

Capital improvements included in the budget this year is a one-time expenditure for a boiler that needed to be replaced for $180,000.

Other big replacements in the budget include a front end loader, plow dump truck, new pick-up truck that acts a dual purpose with a plow, forestry bucket truck, industrial sized stump grinder (cost to be shared with Allouez), a gator for the park and rec and a line painter.

The public safety department will be receiving a new investigation vehicle.

Gillis park playground equipment will be replaced with all new playground equipment.

Street reconstruction increased from $550,000 to $600,000 this year.

Allison Swanson, village manager commented on the budget and said that next year the village needs be reevaluated because the village is undervalued per the market rates.

Trustee Mark Williams asked about employee increases. Swanson said there is a 2 percent increase for an employee based on merit with a four or above score related to employment.

Williams was concerned about part time employees and summer employees making sure the village is competitive with other municipalities.

Swanson said there is a base pay and the next year if they come back there is a 25 cent increase.

Hiring of two part time employees for the Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center was also discussed.

The two part time positions would be shared with the school district.

The village’s portion would be $35,000. The school district plans to approve $35,000 for the position Wednesday evening.

The budget was approved. It will need a public hearing and then can adopted at the next village board meeting.

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