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Colfax approves preliminary $1.14 million budget and $463,000 property tax levy

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  —  The Colfax Village Board has approved a $1.14 million preliminary budget for 2016 and a $463,088 property tax levy.

The village board approved the preliminary budget and tax levy at the board’s regular second meeting of the month November 23.

The tax levy for the 2016 budget is the same as last year, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer.

According to the formula for state-imposed revenue limits, the village has the ability to increase the levy by $39,000, she said.

Equalized value has increased in the village, and the mill rate is expected to be $25.03 per $1,000 of property value, Niggemann said.

When the equalized value increases, the mill rate decreases.

Using the expected mill rate, property taxes for village residents would amount to $2,503 for a property  assessed at $100,000, or $3,750 for a property assessed at $150,000, she noted.

Public works

The public works department currently employs a director of public works, one full-time employee and two seasonal employees.

Rand Bates, director of public works, is proposing to hire a 32-hour per week employee instead of two seasonal employees.

The problem is that during the winter when the need for snowplowing can arise at any time, the on-call seasonal employee, who works full-time elsewhere, is not always available to help plow snow, Bates said.

At other times, the seasonal employee is “out of hours” for the week and could be helping to plow snow, but is instead sitting home watching television because no hours are available, he said.

Bates provided a list of 41 winter projects that a 32-hour per week employee could be working on, such as cleaning and disinfecting the well houses, repairing faucets at the fairgrounds and ball park, changing the oil and the blades on the lawn mowers to get ready for spring, cleaning and painting the water tower basement, building a bench in the ice house, and removing all the brush near the ball field along the river (weather permitting).

According to information Bates presented to the village board, the two seasonal employees worked a combined total of 1,525 hours this year, which works out to be 29 hours per week.

The preliminary budget includes money for the 32 hour per week permanent employee.

The audit and finance committee had asked for a list of winter projects at the committee’s November 16 meeting.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Village Board approved Ordinance 2015-07 to change the zoning from R6 (zero lot line) to R1 for a lot on Iverson Road.