By Heather Graves
BELLEVUE – Following a public hearing and a brief amount of discussion, trustees passed the 2020 operating budget for the Village of Bellevue in a close 3-2 vote Wednesday, Nov. 13.
The approved budget calls for an increase of $20.24 on the tax bill of a median valued home of $184,000.
“Municipal budgets serve not only as the spending and investment plans for the community, but also make a statement about the community’s vision of the future,” said Village Administrator Diane Wessel. “This budget and capital improvement plan reflects a vision of the future of continued progress from Bellevue’s beginnings as a rural town to its transition into a growing and urbanized village.”
The general fund for 2020, $5.78 million, is an increase of $244,416 from 2019.
Wessel attributes the increases to 2020 elections, reduced state and federal funding of Green Bay Metro Transits services, 2020 revaluation, added Brown County investigative staff, information technology investments, increased crossing guard wages to increase retention, deferred repair and replacement of equipment and vehicles and deferred village property maintenance.
Annual debt service increased by $325,130 partially due to subsides to special assessments for streets.
However, Wessel said the tax impact of special assessments for streets partially offset by the wheel tax.
Trustees Dave Kaster and Adam Gauthier voted in opposition.
Gauthier voted against the budget following a motion he made to add the Spring Creek Trail study back into the budget failed without getting a second.
Gauthier said he was disappointed this was eliminated from the budget and voted against it.
The board also approved the 2020-24 Capital Improvement Plan in a close 3-2 vote.
The five-year plan calls for a combined spending of $30.1 million on projects ranging from the construction of village facilities to sanitary upgrades to accommodate commercial growth.
Capital projects on the docket for 2020 include sewer and water main construction for Manitowoc Road, modifications to village offices to improve accessibility, street and utility infrastructure to the County Highway GV/State Highway 172 area and required storm water projects to reduce pollution levels in streams.
During the brief public hearing, Bellevue resident and business owner Jackie Krull expressed her support for the new 24/7/365 fire and rescue services and her hope of tackling police services next.
“We know that the urbanization of Bellevue supports the new 24/7/365 fire department model; both as an expectation of services and as a pledge for minimal response times,” Krull said. “Next, we need to review law enforcement, and the increasing reporting requirements for incident calls. We may find that bringing on a new police deputy to the team will provide community value, as call volume increases, and will offer a solution to reduce our overtime expenses.”