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Colfax approves $1.13 million budget for 2015

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  — Following a public hearing, the Colfax Village Board has approved a $1.13 million budget for 2015.

The village board held the public hearing and approved the budget at a special meeting December 11.

No members of the public attended the public hearing, and after keeping the hearing open for five minutes to see if any members of the public would come in late to talk about the budget, Scott Gunnufson, village president, closed the hearing.

The $1,130,994 budget for 2015 represents a nearly 4 percent decrease over the 2014 budget.

Totals for the 2015 budget include:

• $31,120 for the village board.

• $144,781 for administration.

• $10,360 for the village hall.

• $200,671 for the police department.

• $134,352 for fire protection.

• $18,225 for the Colfax Rescue Squad.

• $192,111 for streets.

• $30,000 for street lighting.

• $24,265 for Evergreen Cemetery.

• $125,220 for the Colfax Public Library.

• $39,300 for parks.

Library funding

Out of the total budget of $125,220 for the Colfax Public Library, Dunn County provides funding of $74,100, with the remaining $51,120 coming from the village.

Residents living in the surrounding townships who use the Colfax Public Library represent 60 percent of the library’s circulation.

Dunn County contributes 60 percent of the Colfax Public Library’s budget.

Although state law requires the county to pay only 70 percent of the county residents’ portion of the budget, which would be $51,870, Dunn County is committed to paying 100 percent of the county residents’ portion of the budget — or $22,230 more than is required by state law.

Deficit

The 2014 budget comparison shows a deficit of $40,453 this year.

The projected year-end deficit is $57,674.

The actual amount for the 2013 budget at the end of the year showed a $327,259 surplus.

The budget deficit for 2014 was largely due to last year’s cold winter causing multiple water main freeze-ups and the necessity for hiring outside services to help get the mains thawed.

Water and sewer

The 2015 water utility expense budget shows a 1.92 percent increase over the  2014 budget of $289,998.

The water utility budget shows a deficit of $33,687 for 2015, as compared to a deficit of $29,708 for 2014, representing a 13.39 percent increase in the deficit.

The sewer utility expense budget for 2015 of $252,027 represents a 9.99 percent decrease over the 2014 budget of $279,986.

The projected budget deficit for the sewer utility for the 2015 budget of $73,927 compares to a budget deficit of $100,686 for the 2014 budget.

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin sets the water rates for Colfax, but the village’s sewer utility is deregulated, and the village board can agree to increase the sewer rates at any time without going through the PSC.

Designated funds

The total designated funds, which are restricted to being spent on the items falling under the category for which they were segregated, includes an ending balance of $426,026 at the end of 2014, compared to an ending balance of $347,258 for 2013.

Items and amounts in the designated funds include:

• $11,781 for clerk-treasurer equipment.

• $10,304 for a generator.

• $7,350 for a police squad vehicle.

• $76,726 for street equipment.

• $16,919 for a park mower.

• $14,027 for park equipment.

• $6,182 for picnic tables.

• $19,314 for park playgrounds.

• $3,091 for cemetery equipment.

• $8,674 for the library.

• $244,705 for street improvements

• $3,229 for holiday decorations.

• $165,279 for village hall improvements.