$10,000 Levy Increase Proposed for Nasewaupee Taxpayers

It appears that it will cost Nasewaupee taxpayers less to have its own fire department than if it had remained with the Southern Door Fire Department (SDFD), based upon the town’s proposed 2024 budget.

The budget the town will show taxpayers at a public hearing, Nov. 16, includes the operational costs for its newly formed Nasewaupee Fire Rescue.

Had the town remained with the Southern Door Fire Department (SDFD), instead of forming its own department, Nasewaupee’s property tax contribution to the SDFD, which was $293,008 for 2023, would have increased by more than $72,000, said town chair Steve Sullivan, because Nasewaupee’s equalized value increased by more than $132 million this year.

The town’s total levy, with the SDFD inclusion, was $647,737 in 2023, versus the proposed town levy of $657,789 for 2024 – roughly a $10,000 increase, rather than the $72,000 that would have automatically been added.   

When the town was considering splitting off from the SDFD, Sullivan said he believed Nasewaupee would be able to operate its own fire department for a lower annual cost than what it was paying to be part of the SDFD, not including equipment purchases. The proposed 2024 budget lists $187,000 pertaining to the fire department operations, including the fire department’s wages, supplies, gas, diesel, oil, training expenses, equipment repairs, fire prevention promotion and miscellaneous expenses.

The town is also transferring $150,000 from the general fund into the fire department equipment reserve. Town supervisor and interim clerk  Jill Lau said fire department expenses as they relate to utilities, insurance and building maintenance and repairs have been moved into the general operating budget of the town.

Expenses Projected to Exceed Revenues

The town’s total revenues are projected to increase next year by more than $180,000 (15.41%) to $1,358,886. 

In addition to an anticipated $20,000 increase in the town’s share of room tax revenue for next year to $65,000, intergovernmental revenue, which includes shared revenue from the State of Wisconsin, is budgeted to increase by more than $60,000 to $287,632, and fees from garbage and recycling collection are going up $78,500 to $277,500.

With $1,650,886 in proposed expenditures, an increase of $264,374 (19.15%) from the previous year, the town plans to use its fund balance to cover the projected $300,000 in expenses above revenues for next year, Lau said, who also noted the town budgeted $215,000 out of the general fund for 2023.

One notable increase in the town’s budgeted expenditures is the line item for capital outlays, which are going from $5,000 in 2023 to $376,000 for next year.

Lau said the budgeted capital outlays, in addition to the $150,000 for the fire department equipment reserve, include $212,059 for the broadband infrastructure reserve, $12,500 for building equipment expenditures and $1,500 for office equipment expenditures.

Besides the town having started its own fire department by having purchased what was the SDFD’s north station in Nasewaupee and much of the equipment in it, the development of a town-wide broadband system is now under consideration in Nasewaupee.

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