Oak Creek considers budget

Town trustees could approve proposed 2004 plan

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With budget crunches across the state, Oak Creek is faring well and is "not hurting," town treasurer Mindy Willert said. That should make the job slightly easier for town trustees when they consider approval of Oak Creek's proposed 2004 budget tonight.

In 2004, the town will make several general improvements, such as putting a new roof on the Town Hall and purchasing a new patrol car for the town's police officers because they make more sense than continuing to make repairs.

"It's not cost-effective to keep putting all this money into repairs when it just gets washed away," Willert said.

The Oak Creek Town Board will have the chance to approve the town's 2004 proposed budget after it takes public comment at its meeting tonight.

The proposed budget shows about $3.4 million in revenues and about $3.4 million in expenditures, and leaves the town with about $1.4 million in total reserves, almost the same as what it had at the start of the year.

In the town's general fund, about $40,000 is proposed to be used from reserves, which Willert said is not a large amount considering the number of improvements being made.

Revenues for the general fund come from property and sales taxes, the lottery fund, the highway use tax, mineral leasing funds and more, Willert said.

In addition to the new roof and patrol car, general fund money will go to a speed monitoring system, new work stations and a new copy machine, a utility truck and software, as well as to maintaining the town's services.

A plan for raising employee salaries is being discussed.

The town's electric, water, sewer and trash funds bring in revenues from grants and tap and service fees.

With money from the electric fund, the town plans to do a $50,000 project to tie in a line, and with money from the sewer fund, the town plans to buy equipment to examine its sewer and water lines, Willert said.

The water fund has been bolstered by several grants and loans, which allows the town to make progress on its new $1 million water plant.

After opening the meeting to public comment about the budget, town trustees will discuss the budget, make any changes and then adopt it.

In other business:

n The town trustees will consider whether a partial closure of Moffat Avenue to create a sledding hill should be allowed this winter. The road traditionally has been closed, but there are questions about whether the practice is safe.

n Town trustees also will discuss designs for a new welcome sign, enforcement of the nuisance code, use of a vacant lot for selling items and a re-plat of five lots to make two lots.

The Oak Creek Town Board meets at 7 p.m. tonight at Town Hall in downtown Oak Creek.

-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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