Seymour council approves 2021 budget
By Rich Palzewic
SEYMOUR – At the Monday, Nov. 23, Seymour city council meeting, a public hearing on the 2021 budget was held.
With no one from the community attending, the budget passed with a unanimous vote.
“I want to thank everyone who worked hard on making this budget attainable,” said Mayor Ryan Kraft. “It’s been a difficult year with COVID-19, so it’s even more important to be fiscally responsible as a city.”
The 2021 budget’s total tax levy is $1,838,761 – slightly higher than the 2020 budget ($1,799,489).
The new tax rate is $8.95 for every $1,000 in assessed property.
This is 2 cents lower compared to the tax rate of $8.97 from the previous year.
“Bringing the mill rate down is a nice bonus for our citizens in Seymour,” Kraft said. “Absent of a property owner having an appreciation of the assessed value of their property, they should see a slight tax decrease for the City of Seymour’s portion of their tax bill.”
Kraft said revenues are also projected to be down next year.
“All of the departments did a great job holding down their expenditures and holding everything in line,” he said. “We looked at critical spending needs first. If we didn’t budget for something in 2021, will that decision put us in a poor spot from an infrastructure or maintenance position in the future? We have to be careful not to get behind, which in turn, could cost the city more money down the line. Everyone was able to identify our critical expenditure needs. We looked hard to provide some small relief to our citizens, despite the fact our revenues don’t look any better next year.”
City clerk/treasurer Lori Thiel said Seymour was randomly selected by the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) for an audit.
“Every general election, the WEC does this,” she said. “It’s not a voter recount where they are looking to count the ballots again to make sure they are accurate, but it’s a process to make sure the machine tapes we have equal what the ballots say. It’s more of an audit as compared to a recount. We’ve never been selected before this year.”
Alder Steve Hurkman, also a member of the city’s public property, streets and sanitation committee, said the city has a water leak in need of repair.
“Director of public works (John) Schoen reported the water line between West High Road and the pavilion at Rock Ledge Park is leaking,” he said. “The leak is under the new blacktop put in last summer. Rather than dig up the blacktop, John received an estimate to furnish a 470-foot directional bore between High Street and the pavilion. The cost will be about $8,500.”
Hurkman said the department of public works will provide the material, excavation at both ends of the bore and the water connections.
“The new water line will be self-draining and not be under the parking lot,” he said. “The project would be started in late December and hopefully, be done in January.”