City grapples with budget cuts

Sturgeon Bay City Administrator Steve McNeil said the city will come up $186,000 short in its budget if Gov. Scott Walker’s state budget is passed as originally proposed. The budget would cost the city $246,000 in state aid, which would be offset by $69,959.80 in savings made available by new budgeting tools in Walker’s plan.

The Grand View property in Ellison Bay.

McNeil said the Maintenance of Effort provision in the bill that mandates that municipalities spend no less on public safety than they did in 2009 means 43 percent of the city’s budget is fixed. Legislation has been introduced to repeal the provision. There is also an effort to re-introduce state recycling aid, which would restore $40,000 in state aid to the city to run its recycling program as mandated by the state.

“There are over 200 items on my list for consideration for cuts,” McNeil said. “I don’t know where we’re going to find solutions yet. But we’re starting this process much earlier, so we do it right. There won’t be any knee-jerk responses.”

• The Door County Land Trust has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire and permanently protect what is commonly referred to as “the Grand View property” at the top of the hill entering Ellison Bay. The Land Trust has until June 30 to raise the remaining funds needed to protect this 16-acre parcel. If fundraising efforts are successful, the Land Trust expects to complete the purchase by the end of July.

The Land Trust has been awarded a $600,750 Scenic Byway grant from the National Highway Department and a $395,755 grant from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund of Wisconsin. It now must raise $111,519 in private donations to complete the land acquisition project.

Search “Protecting A Grand View” at for more information.

• The Town of Baileys Harbor broke ground on its new maintenance building on Summit Road May 25. The maintenance building will house the Public Works department and give the Fire Department more space. Ko-Bra Buildings of Appleton and Dimension IV, an architectural and planning firm from Green Bay, have been contracted to plan and build the new building.

• The Door Kewaunee Business and Education Partnership (DKBEP) celebrated the completion of a home built by local high school students May 25. High school students from Gibraltar, Sevastopol, Sturgeon Bay and Southern Door built the home through collaboration between DKBEP, Door County Home Builders Association and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Students earned 16 transcripted credits at NWTC for their participation.

• Sturgeon Bay Utilities will host an electronic waste collection June 15 at its location at 230 E. Vine Street in Sturgeon Bay. There is a charge to drop off your florescent lamps, bulbs, holiday lights, ballast from bulbs, batteries, mercury, televisions, appliances and other items.