The Vilas County board’s finance and budget committee approved a proposed 2020 budget on Oct. 3, for full county board consideration Oct. 22.
Though the budget remained largely unchanged since the committee’s last meeting, changes made to the budget did see an increase in the county’s total expenditures.
“We moved a dollar, we gave supplies a couple thousand, we put in $7,500 for wages,” finance director Jason Hilger said.
Hilger said expenses went up by $9,000 or $10,000 “at most.”
Three resolutions regarding the 2020 budget were also approved by the committee last Thursday.
One of the resolutions was awarding of $5 million to the County Highway B. project, which accounts for the bulk of the increase to the levy.
Another involved the borrowing of $3.1 million for short-term borrowing to fund capital improvement projects for the county.
Hilger said the idea was to borrow funds to be paid back with interest in January.
“What it does is it allows us the money to buy these things. If you didn’t fund this money, we’d have to spend the money out of the general fund, or we’d have to reduce them in the budget,” Hilger said.
The final resolution was for the 2020 budget and authorizing the 2019 tax levy with the amended totals.
The budget was approved with total revenues of $42.5 million, total expenses of $42.9 million, a levy of $17.8 million and a mill rate of 2.47.
According to finance director Jason Hilger, the increase in the mill rate from 2.36 in 2019 to 2.47 in 2020 would result in an estimated $11 more per $100,000 property value.
“I think with the money we’re borrowing to redo Hwy. B, for the taxpayers, the little bit of increase we’re gonna see, that’s a bargain,” committee member Ron Kressin said.
“For them to see that road and to see that kind of a program moving forward, should please people, because we all hear people complain about roads, and justifiably,” committee member Holly Tomlanovich said.
Hilger said the faster they fixed Hwy. B, the sooner they could get to other roads in need of repair.
“If you don’t fix them this year or next year, you’re gonna fix them the year after that. They don’t go away,” he said.
While the committee heard from some department heads requesting additional funds for the budget, the committee did not elect to change the amounts, but rather directed department heads to return to the committee should the alloted funds be insufficient.
Kayla Houp may be reached via email at [email protected]