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Thiensville's proposed levy, tax rate decrease

Funds being set aside for fire equipment, stormwater improvements

Nov. 7, 2012

Thiensville - Village officials are poised to vote next week on a finalized version of the municipality's 2013 budget. As proposed, it includes a decrease in the property tax levy and tax rate.

Meeting as a Committee of the Whole on Monday, the Village Board gave tentative approval to the budget document, which has been under review in recent months.

Village Administrator Dianne Robertson's budget recommendation includes a $2.4 million levy, representing a 0.175 percent decrease from the 2012 levy. The tax rate of $7.42 per $1,000 of assessed value also is set to decrease by 0.61 percent.

"I think this is a good budget," Village President Van Mobley said. "It cuts taxes, it keeps all of our core services and it allows us to fund redevelopment."

Trustee John Treffert said he believed the budget was reasonable and should bring financial relief to almost all taxpayers in the village.

"No homeowner will pay more to Thiensville on their tax bills, other than those who have done renovations," Treffert said.

The village's 2013 budget includes a number of projects and expenditures, including fire equipment replacement, work along Pigeon Creek and stormwater improvements.

While the board was enthusiastic about the budget, several residents did express concerns about one capital improvement that was omitted. For six years, the village has considered putting funds toward buried power lines along Riverview Drive.

James Reilly was among the Riverview Drive homeowners who expressed concern about the lack of funding during a public hearing Monday.

"Part of the frustration … is having discretionary projects go forward, while this has not," Reilly said. "We've heard for six years that (burying the power lines) is in the budget. I just think it's an issue of fairness."

While burying power lines has been viewed as an aesthetically pleasing option, Mobley said other areas of the village have been in a scenario similar to Riverview Drive.

"We're looking to put them underground if we don't break the bank," Mobley said. "We'd like to bury all of the lines, but cost is an issue."

Robertson and other village officials said burying power lines remains on the table - even if the project is not included in the 2013 budget.

"I consider it a wish list and a reminder list," Robertson said in response to a question about the project's ongoing inclusion on the capital projects list.

Robertson also pointed out other projects on the consideration list are not being funded in the upcoming year. One notable example, she said, is a $900,000 ditching project that had been tied to the water trust in the Laurel Acres subdivision.

NEXT STEP

WHO: Thiensville Village Board

WHAT: adoption of 2013 budget, tax levy

WHEN: 6 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Village Hall, 250 Elm St.

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