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Tax rate will drop

Budget includes paid-on-premises

November 13, 2008
By Robert Ireland


Fontana — The village is proposing a tax rate of $2.08 per $1,000 of assessed value, which is a 78 cent decrease from last year's.

The decrease is attributed to the village's recent reassessment, in which the average village property value increased by more than 40 percent.

This means a home assessed at $270,000 would pay $561.60 to the village's portion of the tax bill.

A home assessed at $525,000 would pay $1,092 to the village's portion of the tax bill. The total bill also includes Big Foot High School, Gateway Technical College, Walworth County, the state of Wisconsin and an elementary school.

Village President Ron Pollitt said he thought the village had a good budget because it was within the state imposed levy limits and the village didn't borrow to cover operating expenses.

"The increase in total expenditures was fairly minimal," he said.

Village Administrator Kelly Hayden said the proposed budget kept the village's expenses limited, but it is adequate.

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"It's enough to make operations happen, but it's going to have to be with tight controls," Hayden said. "It's a good budget. Those 2-percent limitations make it very difficult."

Changes in the budget

The village's Pubic Works budget increased this year by $240,266, which brought it to $1.6 million.

Hayden said part of the increase is attributed to a new snow plow, which was a $150,000 line item.

Hayden said an additional $10,000 was budgeted for engineering expenses, which would go toward adding a geographic information system to the village's Web site.

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The village also increased the Public Works Department's fuel budget.

The public safety portion of the budget also included $52,000 to fund a paid-on-premises fire and rescue service. The villages of Walworth and Fontana together have discussed creating a joint fire and rescue department.

Hayden said the $52,000 would cover Fontana's portion of a joint paid-on-premises fire and rescue service for part of the year. The implementation of a joint fire and rescue service isn't expected by the start of the year.

Hayden said the village also borrowed $402,000 to fund new capital projects. The total budgeted for new capital projects is $784,290.

"The village as a practice does not borrow for (operations and maintenance) costs, just capital projects," she said.

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