Unlike Random Lake, Town Board approves funding for private group
Town of Fredonia voters didn’t bat an eye at last week’s special meeting on the 2016 budget when asked to support funding for the Random Lake Union Cemetery.
Residents unanimously approved a recommendation from the Town Board that a $1,000 donation be made to the Random Lake Cemetery Association, which maintains the unaffiliated cemetery on Random Lake Road.
The group of volunteers that make up the association had asked for $2,000 to help maintain the cemetery, but town officials were reluctant to grant the full amount after learning that Village of Random Lake officials contended they could not use tax dollars to support a private organization.
Town officials scoffed at the explanation, and suggested the association assess a surcharge for burial plots sold for people who did not live in communities that support maintaining the cemetery.
Town officials have been told about 40% of the graves in the cemetery are for people from the Town of Fredonia, 40% from Random Lake and 20% from the Town of Sherman.
There are 311 graves in the cemetery, some dating back to before the Civil War.
Officials noted maintaining the graveyard is a public issue, because if the association fails, responsibility for maintaining the cemetery would be passed on to the township.
Electors at the special town meeting readily approved the funding.
Other recurring funding measures backed by residents included donating $600 to Fredonia Little League, $7,500 to the National Flag Day Foundation and $500 to Ozaukee Economic Development.
Almost as matter-of-factly, residents approved the $485,196 tax levy sought by the Town Board for the 2016 town budget.
The levy represents a 0.6% increase from last year’s amount of $482,206.
Following the special meeting of electors, the Town Board unanimously approved the budget of $728,846. That spending plan represents a 1.3% decrease from the previous budget.
Although the town’s new tax levy is relatively stable, the tax rate will be affected by the community’s 18% drop in valuation following a market-value reassessment.
Despite the change, Supr. Jim Stemper said, “taxes should stay about the same.”
Among the downward trends incorporated in the town budget is an anticipated 24% drop in recycling revenue. The amount represents the money paid for paper, plastic, glass and metal collected at the town’s recycling center.
“That’s because the market for recycled material is lousy,” Town Chairman Richard Mueller explained.