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Mill rate up slightly in 2014 Ellsworth village budget plan

Taxes would increase slightly if the Village of Ellsworth’s 2014 budget proposal is approved after a public hearing is held Monday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. in the village hall.

Village Clerk-Treasurer Peggy Nelson said Thursday the mill rate, representing taxes per $1,000 worth of valuation, in the proposal is placed at .006320, up .15 percent from the .006310 in this year’s budget. The total property tax contribution for ’14 would be $1,139,303.

For this coming year, the maximum amount the state allowed the village to increase the levy is by $11,236, Nelson said. That compares with $14,191 for ’13.

Contributing to village officials being able to hold down the tax impact was new construction such as the new McDonald’s Restaurant and the Ellsworth Co-op Creamery expansion this past year, as well as the upcoming Quinn Motors renovation and the new assisted living project on Ellsworth’s northwest side, she said. Additionally, some street work which had been planned wasn’t done and will be carried over.

Another factor in the tax impact is the village’s overall assessed value being somewhat higher. Nelson said for 2013 it was $186,782,650.

Total revenues in the ’14 budget plan amount to $2,121,417, a decrease of 1.39 percent from the $2,126,021 for this past year. Meantime, total expenditures are $2,501,795 in next year’s proposal, up by 1.36 percent over the $2,413,941 for this past year, an increase of 1.36 percent.

A new capital equipment and repair fund the village created at the recommendation of its auditing firm will be beneficial financially in the ’14 budget plan, the clerk-treasurer said. This fund helps municipalities obtain expected restraint pay from the state; Ellsworth will receive $24,095 for the coming year, though it didn’t get any of this pay in the past year.

Major items for purchase next year include a new squad car, she said. Officials had been trying to buy a new squad every two years, but got behind on that schedule a couple of years ago and now want to catch up.

Available funding means a Dar-Ray siren replacement which has been planned will proceed, while the village has agreed to cost-share in the amount of $60,000 toward tennis court improvements at Summit Park and will designate $40,000 in green space fees for that, she said. Some funding in the coming year’s budget will go to the Main and Piety streets intersection upgrade set for 2015. There will be a carryover of $19,000 for village hall roof and front sidewalk and curb repairs. The board is also considering going “paperless” for internal village operations.

For more please read the Nov. 20 print version of the Herald. 

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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