The city of Green Lake approved a preliminary 2023 budget at a special Common Council meeting Monday afternoon, with the city seeing an increase in the property tax levy and mill rate.
According to the preliminary budget, the city anticipates seeing a 9% increase in the total budget from 2022 to 2023, a $209,826 increase in expenditures, a revenue increase of $79,481 and a property tax levy increase of $130,345. The projected 2022 end-of-year budget surplus is $161,811.
The projected mill rate, or the tax rate that property values are assessed at, will increase by 6% from $5.50 to $5.83. That means a property owner with a property value of $100,000 would pay $583 in property taxes, an increase of $33 from the previous year.
Mayor Ray Radis attributed the increased mill rate to inflation and rising costs. He thanked the council for being prudent and staving off significant tax increases.
“We have to just balance our budget and keep up on maintenance in the city,” he said.
Radis noted the mill rate initially was higher, but the city was able to find a few areas where it didn’t apply the right numbers.
“We take this very seriously when it comes to an increase in taxes in the city of Green Lake,” he said.
District 2 Supervisor Jon McConnell said with inflation at about 8.3%, only having a 6% mill rate increase is pretty good.
“There was a lot of time spent on this and a lot of going over this. … This (budget) is pretty solid considering all things that are happening,” McConnell said.
The property tax levy increased by about 10% from 2022, and was attributed to new infrastructure.
The council noted that although the budget is preliminary, there is no room for additional budget cuts without compromising infrastructure.
The Common Council will hold a public hearing on the finalized 2023 budget Monday, Nov. 14 at 5:30 p.m. and vote on it at 6 p.m.
In other news
Green Lake moved forward on a pay request for an extra $8,000 in expenses accrued during the replacement of two ballpark poles at the Lake Street Sports Complex. The original $7,500 estimate for replacing the poles was increased to $15,608 after it was determined the water table was not below the foundation base of the poles. The increased cost is to cover extra excavation due to poor soil conditions and additional special equipment required to install a 48” steel culvert. The council previously discussed the possibility of sharing the cost of the ballpark pole replacement with the American Legion, which is funding lighting updates at the baseball diamond. The Legion will discuss it at its meeting in November. McConnell noted the bulk of the funding will be covered by the previous short-term borrowing for the project and if the Legion chips in, all of the funding will be covered. The council unanimously voted to approve the pay increase, regardless of whether the Legion decides to split the cost of the replacement.
The council considered a quote for $28,500 for gravel and regrading the South Street Parking Lot, which the city is installing after purchasing three parcels at the corner of Lake and South streets earlier this year. The ground will be leveled and prepared to be paved next year. The quote includes excavating and installing a bioswale for stormwater runoff and demolishing a small shed. The council approved the quote, contingent on the city not receiving any lower qualified bids.
The council approved a quote for $9,850 for the Hattie Sherwood Beach renovation to excavate and haul soil for a new beach area, remove rocks and place them in other areas, place pea gravel in the water at the edge of beach and install a new sand beach
The city voted to vacate land by Water Tower No. 1. McConnell said the city had an easement on a small parcel of land that it no longer needs. In order for the developer to sell the lot, the city is vacating a small space for which it has no use.