Residents agree to exceed levy limit for town road repairs

By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press Staff

Town of Fredonia electors voted last week to allow town officials to exceed the state levy limit for 2020 by $178,219, or 31.6%.

Town Board members said they needed to do so to try to keep up with maintaining and repairing the town’s 51 miles of roads.

The total levy is $568,281. Total revenue and expenses balance out at $828,035.

The tax rate to support spending is $2.64 per $1,000 of assessed value, up 29 cents from $2.35 last year. That means the owner of a $200,000 house will pay $528 on this December’s tax bill, $58 more than last year.

Some residents questioned the need to raise the levy, saying doing so would likely  give the town the highest tax rate of the county’s townships.

“The biggest thing we do here is fix our roads. We could probably spend five times what we’re spending now,” Supr. Jim Stemper said.

The only alternative to raising the levy, officials said, is to borrow money to fix the roads, but the town earlier this year borrowed $658,312 to buy a new fire truck for the Waubeka Fire Department, another “essential service,” Stemper said.

Town debt service in 2020 will fall by about $5,000, as debt for rebuilding Jay Road is being retired but being largely replaced by the fire-truck loan.    

Fire department expenses are increasing about $3,000 per the town’s contract, which is going up 2%.

Town electors agreed to exceed the levy limit by a vote of 18-1 and approved the budget 17-1 with one abstention.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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