According to tentative spending plan, taxes could increase by 9.1%
The Town of Belgium has, as officials have noted, moved into the 21st century with a more modern Town Hall.
With that comes added expenses, some of which residents will see on their tax bills once the 2016 budget is passed.
“Once we went to running water, it kind of changed things,” Chairman Tom Winker said at the Oct. 5 Town Board meeting.
It’s not yet clear how much more officials expect to budget on Town Hall maintenance, according to the preliminary budget presented at the Town Board meeting.
Among anticipated expenses, Zoning Administrator Charlie Parks’ salary is expected to double to $5,000 in the next budget.
“I talked to a few other chairmen in the area and someone put it this way: ‘You’re paying $200 a month. You know what you can get for $200 a month? Not much,’” Winker said.
“Charlie has a passion for land use and we’re fortunate to have his expertise.”
Town Clerk Ginger Murphy said the budget is above the allowable levy, meaning the board will have to pass a resolution in November authorizing the increase.
Overall, local tax revenues are expected to increase 9.1% next year to $438,880.
Total spending is expected to rise 6.6% to $592,490.
Tax rate estimates weren’t immediately available.
Officials are also waiting for an Oct. 26 meeting between the Village of Belgium and Belgium Fire Department to finalize the department’s budget.
Supr. Bill Janeshek, who oversees town roads, said the town should consider reconstructing Clay Ridge Road.
He said asphalt millings from Ozaukee County’s scheduled work on Highway D east of I-43 next year could be used to help reconstruct the town road.
“It’s possible that we could get free fill to widen the road,” Janeshek said.
Clay Ridge Road is a 16-foot-wide gravel road, he said, and should be paved.
“It needs new culverts, blacktop and the ditches should be cleaned up on the west side,” Janeshek said.
“I think this would be an opportunity for cost savings.”
Winker said officials will consider reconstructing the road.
“It’s another gravel road that we would be improving, which is a long-term goal,” he said.
The Town Board will further discuss the budget at its Monday, Nov. 2, meeting, before adopting it on Monday, Dec. 7.