The Town of Lake Tomahawk had their Annual Budget Hearing on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 7:00 P.M. in the Raymond F. Sloan Community Center. All notices were posted to the open meeting law and the media was notified. There were 22 people in attendance.
Present: Chairman George DeMet, Supervisors Matthew Michalsen and Catherine Parker, Treasurer Michael Lynch and Clerk Nancy Schneider. Chairman DeMet read the Agenda of the Budget Hearing and led the people in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Review 2-17 -16 Budget/Public Input: DeMet indicated that the Town’s accountant was not available so he would walk everyone through the budget. Page 1, this is the income we expect to have for the coming year. The property taxes are $714,224 and that has not changed from the 2016 Budget.
Intergovernment Revenue, which includes timber sales, state shared revenue, lottery credit and the other items you see there, if you look at the last two columns, you are comparing 2016 to 2017. You will see that the differences are very minor. Total Intergovernment Revenue for 2017 is $174,708.14 which is about $1,000 more than last year.
Regulation Revenue which is liquor licenses, operator licenses and the other items listed is the same as last year, as is the charges for services. We expect to take in the same amount here. A member of the audience questioned the Surplus Applied figure of $181,000, DeMet indicated that this amount was a surplus that was carried over from the previous year to help fund the new truck that was purchased in 2016.
Page 3, Other Revenues: Not too many. Room Tax is the largest one here other than the fees that we get from the boat launch.
Fire Department Revenue, Accident Reimbursement: We hope that there won’t be any accidents, so we don’t have a lot of revenue.
Sale of Cemetery lots: $300.00
Parks Revenue: As you can see, we anticipate launch fees and launch permits of $6,700.00. Doris Vyvyan asked if the amount was decreasing, but DeMet said that when they consider the amount for the next year they try to be a little conservative.
Surplus applied: That leads to the question that was asked previously about the truck we purchased this year regarding the $180,000 that was surplus applied. We don’t have any large purchase for equipment expected for next year.
Page 4 gives us the total income for 2017 of $904,307.14 and if you look at the year before, that figure reflects the $181,000 that was used for the truck.
If you go to page 5, we start with Expenses. This is what everyone is concerned about. There are no big changes under General Government. Everyone’s salary is pretty much the same and we do not expect any major changes.
Page 6 – Fire Department: We have an increase of $600.00. Doris Vyvyan asked about the account for insurance, if it was health insurance. Doug Rehm indicated that it was Liability Insurance from Rural Mutual. DeMet indicated that the town puts in a little cushion in the event the insurance goes up.
Page 7, Road Department: This is where most of your money goes so if you have any questions, holler. The first Page is mostly Labor, Retirement, Workmen’s Compensation. Total Wages and Benefits is $233,090.00.
Page 8: These are the other items in the Road Department that we spend money on. Equipment Maintenance, salt/sand, Machinery, Service and Repair, Machinery Fuel and Oil. You will notice the biggest expenses is Blacktop and SealCoat. We have budgeted so far, for next year, $229,858.14 for Blacktop and SealCoat. We also have a fund balance of another $100,000 for road construction. Bob Williams asked if the Town has a Road Plan for next year. DeMet said that they do, however, it is not completed, but they do have some very good ideas. DeMet said the Town of Cassian has a plan for Fawn Lake Road for reconstruction that goes through their section and if they do their section, we will do our section also. That would be a mile of Fawn Lake Road and would be approximately $150,000 or more. Then we have some other roads we would like to accomplish. $300,000 would maybe be too much. Bob Williams said the Town should try to get the roads done sooner, however, DeMet said they have to wait on the contractor. They did get the roads all done. Rick Mazurczak questioned the $100,000 fund balance for Road Construction. If you are taxing the people for a certain item, isn’t that would you are supposed to be using the money for. DeMet said that the $100,000 would be used for Road Construction. Money that is designated for Road Construction can only be used for Road Construction. Mazurczak said what he was questioning is that the Town already has $230,000 budgeted for road and then we have another $100,000 in Fund Balance designated for Road Construction. So the question is that there is an estimated $330,000 available for road construction, which would cover two miles. DeMet said yes, maybe two miles.
Page 9: Information Booth and Cemetery Expenses, both of which are down. An Audience Member questioned why there was no mileage for the Information Booth. DeMet said no one claimed any mileage.
Page 10, Parks: Wages is $14,000. Under Other Special Projects, there is a budgeted amount of $10,000. This is dedicated to build a basketball court outside in the recently acquired lot. Mazurczak commented, really a basketball court? We are sitting in one now and no one uses it. DeMet said they were looking at an outside court because this one is inside and no one wants to be here to do adult supervision. DeMet said he has looked into some costs and $10,000 is more than what is needed to build an outside court. It’s in the budget, we are going to explore it and see what the cost will be. Mazurczak said the land was purchased to eliminate the water problem that we have here and to allow for additional parking for the facility and now the Town wants to put in a basketball court? DeMet said yes, that’s the plan.
Bob Williams asked if the roof at the concession stand was going to be repaired? DeMet said that they have had several people look at the roof and that it appears that nothing needs to be done. Bob said the Lions offered $3,000 to the Town to go towards replacing the roof if the roof was going to be replaced. Tom Heilig said that this was the first time in three years that anyone has said that anything needed to be done to the roof. DeMet said a couple of years ago there actually was $5,000 in the budget to fix the roof. They had a couple of people look at the roof and they said that nothing needed to be done. Someone asked that if the money was not used, does it go into the general fund? DeMet replied that all monies that are not used, do go into the general fund, with the exception of the Road Dept. Any monies that are dedicated to road construction and is not used, stays in road construction. That’s State statute.
Website Committee: That’s the same amount as last year.
Debt Reduction: We have no debt.
Subsidies, Insurance and Benefits, nothing has changed significantly. Bridges & Dams, we have a $1,000 in the budget. Animal Control, there is $400 in the budget for that.
Allocated Funds for Future Use: This is where we put money away for future purchases and this is why we did not have to borrow any money to buy the truck. This is why we have money to build roads. We have been putting money away so we don’t have to borrow.
A gentleman from the audience had a question regarding Subsidies. He said, I see that you gave the Sno-Fleas $1,000. DeMet said yes, that’s correct. The gentlemen then asked what are the chances of the Town putting in $1,000 or $1,500 for the bike trail. DeMet said good idea and indicated that presently the Town has a donation totaling $1,500 to maintain that 2 mile stretch from here to Indian Mounds. Actually a mile and one-half is in the Town of Woodruff and they have signed off so that Lake Tomahawk could maintain the entire trail to Indian Mounds.
Dan Dosemagen questioned why the Town has to put gravel on the Bike Trail. DeMet said because the Town had said they would maintain the trail to Indian Mounds. Dosemagen questioned the other 4 miles south of Lake Tomahawk. DeMet said this was a grand plan to connect Rhinelander to Woodruff. Dosemagen said that when the trail was put in initially, it was part of a $300,000 grant. DeMet said Dan was talking about Newbold and not Lake Tomahawk. DeMet said the Town of Newbold got the grant and it ends in McNaughton. Dosemagen asked DeMet why he thinks he has to put more gravel on the trail as the snowmobiles will also be using the trail. DeMet said that there are soft spots where they do need the gravel and he talked to people that groom the trails and they said it does not injure the snowmobiles. Mazurczak asked, are you suggesting that we use taxpayer’s money to maintain this trail. DeMet said he is not suggesting anything, it was a suggestion from the audience. So far they have received a $1,500 donation for the trail.
After arguing back and forth, between all parties, Mazurczak asked where they were going to get the gravel to maintain the trail. DeMet said they already have the gravel. Mazurczak questioned what about the labor of keeping up the trail? DeMet said these were all questions that need to be resolved if we decide to go ahead with it.
Mazurczak mentioned that the town did not budget for any gravel in 2016 and 2017. DeMet said that was correct as they bought 10,000 yards out of the 2015 budget and it was stockpiled this year.
Michalsen said we saved money on the purchase. DeMet agreed that we saved a great day of money by buying 10,000 instead of 5,000 yards. DeMet said they spent $52,500 for 10,000 yards of gravel that came out of the 2015 budget and stockpiled it this year. Hopefully the gravel will last two or three years or 2018.
DeMet asked if there were any other question. Dan Konopacky asked how they get the $1,500 for the bike trail. DeMet said to make a motion. Tom Heilig made a made a motion that $1,500 be budgeted by the town for the bike trail. Seconded by Dan Konopacky. Bob Williams moved that we use paper ballots. Paper ballots were passed out by Pat Christy and Darlene Neumann. DeMet wanted everyone to understand that the voting is an advisory vote only and it’s up to the Town Board to make the final decision. It would be the same thing if you wanted to increase the money to the Sno-Fleas or anything else, it’s all advisory.
Mazurczak made a motion that we take the $10,000 from the Parks Commission that was for the basketball court and split it with $5,000 going to the Sno-Fleas and $5,000 going to the bike trail. Seconded by Dosemagen. All in favor say yea, not in favor, nay, raise your hands. 9 yeas, 8 Nays. The results of the paper ballot was 14 to 6 in favor of adding $1,500 for the bike trail.
Michaelsen said that since this was all advisory, he would like to open it up at the next town meeting and he asked the people to please show up so that we can get more voices at these meetings.
All the town has to do is to approve the levy and that will be done at the next town meeting.
Adjournment: Motion by Rodney Singleton to adjourn the budget hearing, seconded by Pat Christy. Motion carried, all Ayes.
Meeting adjourned at 7:50 P.M.
Nancy J. Schneider, Town Clerk