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Thursday

July 2014

24

$40 tax increase estimated in 2013 budget

Council also approves work to make way for apts.

City of Oconomowoc - Mayor Jim Daley called next year's city budget "responsible" Tuesday after the Common Council approved the budget 5-1. Alderman Jim Larsen voted no; council members Lora Mae Cochrane and Mike Miller were excused from the meeting.

The tax levy for 2013 is $8.97 million, about 4.7 percent higher than last year's levy of $8.58 million. The proposed tax rate is $4.98 per $1,000 of assessed value, up about 3.1 percent over last year's $4.83 per $1,000. The owner of a $265,000 home can expect to pay $1,319 compared to $1,279 last year.

Finance Director Sarah Kitsembel said the city was able to save $56,000 in expenditures by tightening up across departments since the city released a draft of the budget last month.

Garbage increase

The council on Tuesday also approved a $5 increase to garbage collection charge for 2013. Kitsembel explained the charge is to keep up with what the city pays for the service. Residents will pay $210 in 2013, compared to $205 in 2012. The city actually pays $222 per home for garbage collection, but is able to lower the fee passed on to residents because of a recycling credit and other revenues.

Cleanup for apartments

The council approved spending $34,210 for asbestos removal and $28,137 to raze three homes on West Wisconsin Avenue as part of an agreement with the developer of Worthington Apartments planned for that site.

The city this summer approved swapping land on Main Street adjacent to Village Green with owner Bob Felker in exchange for city-owned parcels on Wisconsin Avenue.

Felker plans to start construction on the 60-unit apartments next year.

Daley previously said that the city agreed to conduct the building cleanup and removal to cover an approximate $150,000 difference from the land exchange. Daley added that the city will not have to contract out for the work, but will be able to conduct the work internally for an increased cost savings. Alderwoman Cathleen Slattery noted Tuesday that the city will get $24,000 of the $28,000 used for demolishing the homes back from grants.

Park renamed

Memorial Park, adjacent to the community center, will be renamed Veterans Memorial Park after the council unanimously approved the resolution Tuesday night.

This summer a group of residents proposed designating one of the city's parks as a place to honor veterans. The organizers said with the recent construction of the new community center, which will be located next to Memorial Park, the opportunity presented itself to pursue renaming the park.

The city resolution said that with the assistance of volunteers, the American Legion, VFW and Vietnam Veterans of America, work will be done to make the park, "an appropriate monument to veterans."

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