Village expect to collect $37,000 from guest charge, but ownership change could affect collections
When the Saukville Village Board gets together at the end of the year to dole out the proceeds from its room tax, it is commonly called the “Santa Claus meeting.”
The pending sale of the Super 8 Motel, the only business contributing to the village’s 7% room tax, forced officials last week to put off final allocation of the funds until February.
According to village officials, a tentative sales date of the motel at 180 S. Foster St. has been set for Dec. 20.
“At this point, you don’t know what is going to happen. We wanted to be up front with all the people who have requested room tax money,” Village Administrator Dawn Wagner said.
“What we wanted to avoid was telling people their requests have been approved, and then having to call them and say, ‘Guess what ….’ Luckily it is early in the year, before most of the groups need the money.”
Wagner said if the new owners intend to do extensive renovation at the motel, it could mean that rooms may not be available for part of 2015, cutting into potential room tax revenues.
Still, trustees listened to more than a dozen requests for funding from the $37,000 in anticipated revenue for the coming year.
After weighing the different requests, officials made tentative decisions on how the room tax revenues would be divided.
As in years past, the largest allocation — $9,000 — will be a transfer to the general fund to reduce the village’s operating budget.
The most discussion, however, dealt with the request for $7,500 from the Saukville Area Historical Society.
Society President Anne Kertscher told trustees most of last year’s $4,000 allocation for painting the Crossroads Museum, 200 N. Mill St., was set aside because of unexpected problems.
“We had several contractors come in to look at the building, but no one came back with an estimate,” Kertscher said.
She said peeling paint on the exterior of the building turned out to be a sign of a greater masonry problem. An expert on building restoration said the needed work will cost $31,000.
“Painting and a little tuck-pointing isn’t going to get it done. What we don’t want to do is lose the building by letting it fall into disrepair,” Kertscher said.
Trustees also agreed to allocate $5,000 for the community’s Fourth of July fireworks display, a favorite budget item of Village President Barb Dickmann.
The village spends about $10,000 on its pyrotechnic display, with about half of that amount coming from donations.
Other allocations trustees recommended:
• The Saukville Chamber of Commerce sought $2,500, the same amount it received this year.
Chamber Executive Director Sherri Yandry said the money will be used to help pay the rent on office space it rents on Mill Street.
“The office has given us a sign in a window downtown, which is a lot more visibility than working out of someone’s basement, which is what was done before,” Yandry said.
• The Saukville Car Show, which is held as a fundraiser hosted by the Friends of the Saukville Fire Department, will receive $2,500.
Many of the same organizers work on the Summer Thunder motorcycle rally, which also supports the fire department. That event will receive $500.
• Two other ongoing community events will also receive funding.
The Live at the Triangle concert series will receive $1,000, and the National Night Out celebration of the community’s emergency personnel will receive $500.
• The Community Development Authority has also asked for $2,500 to update marketing materials used to promote development in the community.
• The Public Works Department requested $600 for a Christmas wreath to be hung on the police station, and $1,500 to pay We Energies to mount lights on five utility-owned light poles.