Monticello FY 2020 city budget approved

City Council
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The City of Monticello’s proposed Fiscal Year 2020 city budget is official.

     During the March 4 city council meeting, the council held a public hearing on the matter. No comments or objections were received at City Hall.

     City Clerk Sally Hinrichsen informed the council she received a phone call from resident Steve Hanken regarding the budget, and felt she answered his questions.

     With the budget in place, it sets the city’s tax rate at $13.86897. This has been the same city tax rate since FY 2015. The tax rate is made up of the $8.10 General Fund levy, a levy of $3.32873 for employee benefits, and a levy of $2,44021 related to the city’s debt service.

     Following the public hearing, in which there was no public comment, the council voted and approved the FY 2020 budget. The vote passed 4-1, with Council member Brenda Hanken opposed. (The Council Ward 2 seat remains unfilled.)

     Another hearing was held to amend the city’s urban renewal plan to add the N. Sycamore Street Reconstruction Project as an eligible TIF project. Sixty percent of the project costs will be covered by TIF payments; 40 percent by Debt Service. The use of TIF allows the city to keep the project debt on a 10-year payback as opposed to 15 years. This also results in lower interest rates, a reduced debt service levy, and an overall cost savings of $500,000 in interest.

     City Administrator Doug Herman said the Planning and Zoning Board also reviewed the amendment and had no objections.

     In amending the city’s urban renewal plan, Herman also spoke to the school district and county officials. He said there were no objections.

     The council, then, approved adding the street project to the city’s urban renewal plan.

     Related to N. Sycamore, resident Stu Gerdes asked the council if they would permit the planting of trees in the terrace, questioning the trees’ root system impacting a new plastic water main.

     “It hasn’t been ruled out,” said Mayor Brian Wolken.

     Gerdes said it’s sad that all of the trees have to come down along N. Sycamore due to the street project, but said the properties lack room in which to replant trees. He said the only place is the terrace.

     Herman said he would reach out to the city engineer to get a clear consensus on the issue.

In other city business:

     • The council held a public hearing and approved an amendment to the Development Agreement between the city and Menasha Corporation/Orbis.

     As Orbis worked to expand its warehouse, there was a need to update the water main in that part of town for additional capacity and flow. The result was a new main between 11th Street and Plastic Lane.

     Herman said the new main will be important as, hopefully, the industrial park expands.

     In exchange for right-of-way easement access on the property containing the new water main, the city will pay Orbis grant payments for the cost the company incurred due to the purchase of property and construction of the main itself.

     • The council set a public hearing for Monday, April 15 at 6 p.m. to amend the city’s urban renewal area in relation to the now-approved Orbis development agreement.

     • The council approved the purchase of a new backhoe from Kromminga Motors at a purchase price of $84,000. The initial purchase comes with a four-year warranty. The council’s approval is contingent upon securing a five-year warranty.

     The vote passed 4-1, with Hanken opposed.

     The price includes a $29,000 trade-in for the city’s 2008 backhoe. The equipment would be utilized by the Public Works Department.



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