Hobart village board approves 2021 budget
By Kevin Boneske
HOBART – The village’s tax rate is projected to drop by a penny to $4.41 per $1,000 of assessed value with the tax levy increasing by about $26,000 to more than $3 million after the 2021 budget for the general fund, capital projects and debt service was approved Tuesday, Nov. 17, by the Hobart village board.
Village Administrator Aaron Kramer said other budget highlights include:
• No major changes in programming and personnel.
• No increase in garbage and recycling fees for the third consecutive year.
• A one-year reduction for a number of beverage and cigarette license fees as part of the fee schedule the board approved to help small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
• A 10 percent decrease in storm water fees to be reflected next month in the storm water budget and in the December 2021 tax bills.
• A general fund contingency balance of $77,758 to weather any unforeseen issues in 2021.
• A capital projects contingency of $17,000, the first time a contingency has been added to this fund to account for possible unanticipated costs in 2021.
Kramer said a proposal to add a captain’s position to the police department next year didn’t get approved and is not included in the budget.
As previously proposed, the 2021 budget called for a 2-cent drop in the tax rate, but the board decided to place an additional $7,000 in the general fund contingency and still have a lower rate by a penny.
The board elected not to go ahead with another option to keep the tax rate at $4.42 per $1,000 by adding $6,500 to the capital projects contingency.
Kramer said the village is able to lower the tax rate with the levy increasing because the overall assessed value in Hobart increased this year.
“You’re still lowering the tax bill slightly, acknowledging it’s been a rough year for a lot of people,” he said. “But you’re still giving yourself a little cushion.”
If adding the unused levy from previous years, Kramer said Hobart would be allowed raise the state levy limit to $3,144,824, which would equate to a tax rate of $4.60, but he wouldn’t advocate that.
He said Hobart’s portion of the overall property tax bill usually makes up about 22 percent for village residents in the West De Pere school district to 23 percent for village residents in the Pulaski district.
With the addition of $7,000 in the general fund contingency, the 2021 general fund budget includes more than $3.73 million.
The tax levy of $3,020,500 backed by the board includes more than $1.77 million for the general fund, $626,319 for capital projects and another $615,935 for debt service.
Kramer previously estimated a reduction in some beverage and cigarette license fees for 2021 would have a fiscal impact of $1,350 in reduced revenue, based on the 2020 village budget.
The 50-percent reductions he presented to the board for approval included dropping three categories of licenses from $500 to $250 – Class A Fermented Malt Beverage Retailer, Class A Intoxicating Liquor Retailer and Class B Intoxicating Liquor.
Public hearing action
In addition to approving the budget following a public hearing, the board held two other hearings on requests for rezoning and a conditional use permit.
After the board last month approved a three-lot certified survey map (CSM) to create two new lots on property along Fernando Drive to have three parcels of approximately 3, 2.2 and 1.5 acres, the board this week rezoned the lots from A-1 Agricultural to R-2-R Rural Residential.
Director of Planning and Code Compliance Todd Gerbers said the CSM created three lots all less than the 5-acre minimum to remain in the A-1 zoning district, and they meet the village requirements for both lot width and square footage to be rezoned R-2-R.
The board also granted a permit to construct an approximately two-fifths-acre pond in the rear of property at 3792 Rolling Meadows Road.
In the R-2 Residential zoning district, a pond is listed as a conditional use.
Public works hire
After meeting in closed session, the board approved the hiring of Tadd Krueger as a public works and utility crew member, effective Nov. 30.