Ashwaubenon village board finalizes 2021 budget
By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – After holding a public hearing where no one spoke Nov. 24, the village board voted 5-0 to back the 2021 budget resolution appropriating funds to operate village government and levying property taxes in Ashwaubenon.
Trustees Allison Williams and Chris Zirbel were absent.
Board members present gave final approval to a tax levy of $12,714,769, an increase of $156,251, or 1.24 percent, from the previous year.
Of the total tax levy, the resolution designated $9,784,368 (77 percent) for the general fund, $2,149,261 (16.9 percent) for the debt service fund, $756,140 (5.9 percent) for the capital projects fund and $25,000 (0.2 percent) for the special revenue fund.
Finance Director Greg Wenholz said the tax levy for village purposes will result in a mill rate of $5.79 per $1,000 of assessed value, an increase of 11 cents per $1,000, or 2 percent, from the previous year.
Based on the median value of a home in Ashwaubenon having an assessed value of $159,200, Wenholz said the property tax payment to the village will be around $922, an increase of about $18.
The levy amount is identical to the one proposed two weeks earlier when the board and the village’s Finance and Personnel Committee held a joint meeting to go over the budget.
Ashwaubenon has faced declining revenues because of COVID-19, such as the village’s share of room tax revenue, which is budgeted next year at $325,000, compared to pre-pandemic budget projections of more than $400,000.
To balance next year’s budget, Wenholz said the village is able to take $325,000 out of its reserves and still maintain a fund balance of at least 20 percent of annual general fund expenditures, as called for in village policy.
Of the $16,384,357 in budgeted general fund expenditures for next year, the categories with the four largest amounts include $8,387,435 for public safety, followed by $2,558,231 for public works, $2,511,271 for general government and $1,931,459 for parks, recreation and forestry.
Village President Mary Kardoskee thanked department heads for the work they did in putting together next year’s budget.
“They knew it was a tough budget, and they were very gracious,” she said.
Trustee Gary Paul also thanked village staff for the hours spent on the budget.
“I think we did a good job for the situation that we’re in and the future that we’re looking at also,” he said.
In other action, the board approved the appointment of Joel Gregozeski as the new village manager, effective Nov. 30.
Gregozeski, previously the town administrator in Greenville near Appleton for almost 2 1/2 years, was one of two finalists in Ashwaubenon along with James Fenlon, village administrator in Little Chute.
Ashwaubenon was without a village manager since July when Allison Swanson resigned after being hired to the position in 2011.