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Janesville council approves 2010 budget

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
November 24, 2009
— Despite reservations from council member Tom McDonald, coupled with his vote against it, the city council on Monday approved the city’s 2010 budget.

McDonald said he does not believe the council should take $850,000 from the reserve fund to balance the budget.


“If the city wants to do everything that’s in this budget—maintain all these programs as it is—then I think we ought to pay for it,” McDonald said. “We ought to realize what this costs.”


McDonald also said he couldn’t support a budget that increases the amount of outside trash the city brings in.


“Personally, I would rather pay a few dollars for my trash pickup (rather than have) the city of Janesville be a dumping ground for trash from all over Rock County or Green County,” he said.


Councilman Frank Perrotto suggested all adult recreation programs, minus family activities, be “cost neutral” with savings going to the reserve or to reduce taxes. That would mean fees would increase to cover the city’s subsidy.


Manager Eric Levitt figured that could mean a savings of about $36,500. No other council member seconded the proposal.


The budget calls for a .61 percent increase in the tax rate. The tax levy increased $302,887 to $25.6 million, an increase of 1.2 percent. That means the owner of the average home assessed at $113,800 will pay $832 for services, an increase of $4.80 or .58 percent.


The city was able to keep the tax levy down because employees did not receive a 3 percent cost of living raise, although some will receive increases based on seniority.


Resident Al Lembrich was the only person to speak Monday.


“All new spending items or programs should be cut out,” he said, citing the current economy. “Please have the courage to face reality.”


Several council members defended the budget, saying it is, overall, a good compromise. The budget is $848,400 under state levy limits, council member Russ Steeber noted.


The council will set the tax rate for all taxing jurisdictions at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday.



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