WARSAW — The first look at departments proposed budgets within the city of Warsaw was taken by members of the Warsaw Common Council Monday evening, Aug. 15. The overall 2017 proposed budget total is $29,566,224, up $1,611,530 from the 2016 proposed budget. A 5.45057 percent increase.
Council members heard budget reviews for almost three hours and it was the main topic of business for the evening.
Budgets included 2 percent salary increases for a majority of the departments, with some higher and at least one department lower. Those departments with higher salary increases included additional staff including adding four new firefighters for Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory to staff Station 3. The city’s wage committee will be proposing the salary ordinance in the near future.
Other increases in budgets, which ranged from .77 percent to 14.34 percent, included adding new line items for technology, formerly included under miscellaneous, and initial costs of new phone lines. Among the increases were: replacement of aging equipment, purchase of new vehicles, initiation of road maintenance programs, tree removals, and initial stages of replacing aging street signals.
Several departments proposed budget reductions ranging from .03 percent to 33 percent. These reductions were due to projects included in past budgets which are completed.
Mayor Joe Thallemer provided a preamble prior to budget presentations. “The state requires the budgeting process to be as conservative as possible,” Thallemer said. He noted the underestimating of assessed value, the overestimation of the tax cap credit. “The job tonight is to look at the proposed spending by departments, increases from last year if there are any and a chance to talk to those department heads.”
Thallemer did state there is a 3.8 percent levy growth factor for this year, compared to the 2.6-2.7 percent last year. “Even with the growth factors, the local option income tax, there’s still a direct reduction in our revenues because of those tax credits. That’s the burden cities and towns have borne since 2010. It keeps getting worse to be frank.”
The mayor also asked the council to keep in mind the fire territory is in its final stages of proposing Station 3 as far as funding, staffing and equipment requirements, which will impact the 2017 budget. “It doesn’t appear we will see occupancy until the first quarter of 2018.”
Thallemer stated when the time comes to get the budget under the levy, more will be known about what cuts will be necessary, the expense of health insurance premiums and a better idea understanding the necessity of “how much we may need to cut and what may need to be cut,” Thallemer said.
Proposed City Budgets
The proposed budgets presented are:
- General fund — $11,319,180
- Aviation general — $795,357
- Cemetery — $670,055
- Cemetery perm – $106,500
- Cumulative capital development — $625,000
- Cumulative capital improvement — $50,000
- Economic development income tax — $1,475,000
- Fire pension — $293,229
- Fire territory equipment — $760,913
- Fire territory operating — $4,615,056
- General bond (debt) $433,625
- Law continuing education — $41,000
- Local road and street — $125,000
- Local option income tax special distribution — $230,000
- Motor vehicle highway — $727,000
- Park — $2,328
- Park non reverting operating — $14,650
- Police pension — $313,623
- Redevelopment allocation — $411,050
- Redevelopment eastern TIF — $200,000
- Redevelopment general — $171,925
- Redevelopment northern TIF — $3,537,662
- Redevelopment Winona Interurban TIF $5,000
- Riverboat — $150,000
- Tech Park — $167,000.
During other business the council approved the second quarter Comcast franchise fee of $14,281.16.