Oak Creek The Oak Creek Town Board agreed Thursday it must balance its general fund, but board members differed on the best way to do so.
As part of an ongoing discussion about how to manage growth in Oak Creek, the board scheduled a special work session to discuss which capital improvements the town should tackle and how best to balance its general fund.
Mayor J. Elliott again suggested the board consider asking voters in November to approve a mill levy that would provide money for the general fund.
Elliott first suggested the mill levy in February after the town's auditor told Oak Creek officials they could not transfer money from enterprise funds - which include trash, water, electric and sewer revenues - to the general fund. Such transfers are how the town historically has supported itself.
"We have to do something to sustain the general fund and keep the present level services we provide our residents up," Elliott said.
Board member Chuck Wisecup said he does not think a mill levy would ever support the general fund and that the town shouldn't rule out making transfers from enterprise funds to the general fund.
"I just don't see how it's going to happen," he said. "This is the way it's always been."
Wisecup suggested the town start thinking long-term regarding its police department and capital improvement plans while dealing with short-term issues, such as the budget.
"What do we want to be when we grow up?" he said. "How many policemen are we going to need? How many guys in Public Works? This town isn't going to stay static. We have to grow, too."
Police Chief Linda Koile has resigned from the department, leaving the town without any law enforcement officers. Koile's last day is June 14.
The board agreed improvements to the town's water and waste water treatment plants will be priorities this year. Other priorities include replacing eroded piping and fixing parts of the town's electrical system.
The board, which met for about an hour, agreed that further discussions with the town's Denver-based auditor, Tim Mayberry, would be necessary before moving forward.
Mayberry is scheduled to make a presentation regarding the town's audit at the board's June 14 meeting.
"Tim can give us some information, but it's up to us to decide what we want and come up with our own answers," Wisecup said. "We're going to have to be the ones giving him information."
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