East Troy officials consider pay freeze
Rising costs, declining state aid and a desire to maintain services without raising taxes have left East Troy officials handcuffed over the village’s 2010 budget.
Village Board President Bill Loesch said he is confident officials can balance the budget without significant cuts.
“I think street projects are going to take a little bit of a hit because, unfortunately, that’s some of the easiest stuff you can cut out,” Loesch said.
Officials also are analyzing salary freezes for village employees. Costs for benefits have increased, and freezing salaries would help offset those increases, Loesch said.
“We just can’t afford to look at a pay increase for village employees on top of some of the reductions we’re seeing,” he said.
The village’s most significant expenditures are police, village administration, public works and emergency—all necessary expenses for the village to function, he said.
“I think anybody in any kind of government and in any kind of business has to look at every single item and evaluate whether it’s an essential service provided,” Trustee Randy Timms said. “The high wire that you walk on is how much you collect versus how much to offer.”
Timms blamed reduced state aid and a 2 percent budget increase cap for the challenges East Troy officials are facing to balance the village’s budget.
State aid in shared revenue has decreased by $25,000 to $358,000 this year, Timms said. And the cap leaves officials with few options considering the costs of living and services have increased.
“How do you pay the bills?” he said. “We don’t have a rich sugar daddy, I’m afraid.”
East Troy’s 2009 budget was $2.6 million. For 2010, officials are looking at no more than $2.63 million including:
--$1 million for police.
--$650,000 for village administration, including insurance, legal services, auditing and others.
--$465,000 for public works.
--$300,000 for emergency services.
--$125,000 for the library.
--$90,000 for parks.
The East Troy Village Board meets next at 6 p.m. Sept. 21 in the Village Hall, 2015 Energy Drive.