Tuesday, December 5, 2000
Oak Creek The Oak Creek Board of Trustees may approve a final 2001 budget that has the town dipping into the reserves $152,414, mainly for capital projects, and shows an increase of electric rates.
About $135,000 of the spending in 2001 will go to capital projects. That includes $10,000 for water plant improvements, $5,000 for new fire hydrants, $3,200 for park improvements and $57,000 for street improvements.
Acting town treasurer Nancy Stahoviak said about $22,000 will be spent for normal operating expenses, with the capital projects aside.
Revenues in the proposed budget are aided by an increase in the electric fee, which, if passed, will begin next year.
The electric fee increase is a one cent per kilowatt hour for electricity, from 7.5 cents to 8.5 cents, costing about $10 per 1,000 kilowatts.
"The trustees did a pretty good job considering they had to come up with an additional $40,000 salary in the budget for a town manager," Stahoviak said.
But some solutions will have to be found to cut down on operating expenses and pay for capital projects in the future.
"They probably can't continue down this path forever," Stahoviak said.
If spending goes as planed in the budget, the town reserves will be put at $279,387 at the end of 2001.
Though normal operating expenses of the town and the amount of revenue coming in needs to be looked at closely, Stahoviak said the addition of a town manager will help Oak Creek with finding grant money to pay for capital projects.
For example, on Friday Oak Creek received the second highest recommendation for a $100,000 Mineral Impact Grant to help pay for building a new water booster station. The town will have to match the state about $85,000 if it receives the grant, which will be decided in March.
"You'll always have to come up with some money for a match," Stahoviak said.
But it helps if the town can avoid paying full price for expensive capital projects, she said.
Finding grants and writing applications for them is definitely one of the qualifications trustees are looking for in a town manager, Oak Creek Mayor Deb Van Gundy said.
"We're also interested in looking for low-interest financing," she said.
The town wants to refinance some of its older loans at a better rate, which would help with balancing the budget, too, Van Gundy said.
The town received eight applications for the manager job.
"And some of them look pretty good," Van Gundy said.
She said applicant screenings are expected to be set up for Dec. 11.
Trustees will look at the final draft of the 2001 budget and could approve it at the next board meeting at 7 p.m. on Dec. 14 at the Oak Creek Town Hall.