space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* AREA WRESTLING
* M&O Girls Basketball
* GNC"Boys Basketball
* M&O Boys Basketball
* M&O Boys Basketball - Bulldogs' Defense Keys Win Over Thunderhawks

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

Oconto County Property Values Down For 5th Consecutive Year

Equalized values are down for the fifth year in a row. That didn’t even happen in the Great Depression, Administrative Coordinator Kevin Hamann told Oconto County Board at its annual budget hearing Thursday, Oct. 31. Largely because the equalized value of the county dropped by nearly $18 million, property tax rate will be going up the amount allowed by law again this year, despite using a considerable amount of reserve funds.

Hamann said despite hard work by everyone involved, the budget shows a $5.7 million increase in costs but only a $2 million increase in revenues. You’ll be okay in 2014, and probably in 2015, Hamann cautioned, but in a few years your savings will be gone and you will have to make some very tough decisions.

The budget overall uses $7 million from fund balances, but provides for adding reserves to other accounts, for example $100,000 is going to an account for retiree benefits in anticipation of a retirement bubble in the coming year.

For 2014, the tax levy for county purposes will be $5.227 per $1,000 of equalized value, up from last year’s $5.149, representing a mill rate increase of 1.58 percent. However, they used $760,099 of fund reserves to bring the levy down to the legally allowable limit.

Hamann said the county currently has some very healthy reserves because the Finance Committee wisely set money aside for a rainy day when times were good. This is a rainy day, he declared, repeating that they will have to look at cutting programs in a few years if the economic picture does not improve. A new construction spurt could help resolve those problems, but right now that does not appear likely.

The budget includes $250,000 in contingency to implement wage levels recommended in the Carlson-Dettman study, actual amounts for elected officials per county board action, and insurance and retirement benefits. A large chunk of the overall 2014 spending hike is the $3 million allocated for site acquisition and design of the new Law Enforcement Center to be added to the courthouse. That project, with an approximately $23 million price tag, was approved by the board in September. Steps to begin implementing the construction plans, including purchase of property and hiring an engineering firm to design the project, were approved at the board meeting on Thursday, Oct. 24. The budget approved on Oct. 31 provides $1,300,000 for Law Enforcement Center design and $1,700,000 for land purchase and related expenses, including removal of existing buildings,

Capital projects generally are funded from the $910,000 in sales tax money, but the $3 million for the Law Enforcement Center is being taken from general fund reserves, so no new taxes are being levied for those purposes, Hamann said. There will be a bond issue when the Law Enforcement Center is to be built, which is at least a year in the future.

Capital improvements included in the budget for 2014 and approved by County Board are: $205,000 for an upgrade to the E911 system, $160,000 for squad car replacements, $150,000 for courthouse lighting upgrades (which should eventually pay for themselves in energy savings), $40,000 to repair the courthouse Clock tower, $150,000 for Chute Pond upgrades, $45,000 for ortho photography, and $160,000 for computer equipment.

Hamann stressed that just because the capital purchases are funded in the budget does not mean they are approved. Each must come back to County Board before the money can be spent. He was pleased to report that at this point the county is debt free. The last payment on long term debt was made in 2013, and there is no more anticipated until the Law Enforcement Center bond issue.

Finance Director Terry Hinds walked the board and the public through the budget, explaining changes and purpose for various allocations.

Budget for Corporation Counsel is going up, as it is being changed from a part time to a full time job, but budget for labor negotiations dropped because the full time Corporation Counsel will assist Hamann with union contract negotiations and they will not hire an outside consultant.

Hamann noted the County Board allocation is down, and said board members have been good about scheduling fewer committee meetings to keep costs down.

Board Chair Lee Rymer thanked Hamann, Hinds, Finance Committee members Tom Gryboski, Paul Bednarik, Greg Sekela and Doug McMahon (in addition to himself),and department heads for their cooperation and work in putting the budget together. The committee had worked on it for four long days.

No one in the crowded board room addressed the board on the budget.

I have been proud that we have had money in the unreserved general fund, Rymer declared, and we still have to stress that we are now debt free!

How many county boards can hold a public hearing on the budget and not have a single person speak? Rymer asked. He said the successful budgeting was the result of a lot of cooperation and good relationships between department heads, It wasn’t always that way...In the past many of them hated to come to budget meetings, Rymer commented.

Charts in the budget information booklet showed that of the $522.70 county tax levy on a $100,000 property, $178.70 goes to support the Sheriff’s Department, $143.85 for Human Services, $100.03 for Highway Department, $20.73 for courthouse maintenance, $18.19 for Contingency, $14.38 for county libraries, $12.50 for courts, $9.11 for Land Information, $8.53 for zoning, $8.20 for Extension/Education,$7.97 for Oconto County Economic Development Corporation, $7.21 for the finance department, $7.01 for insurance/safety/risk management, $6.27 for the District Attorney/Victim Witness program, $5.82 for the County Clerk, $5.61 for Land Conservation, $5.47 for County Board, $5.43 for Administrative Coordinator expense and labor negotiations, and $4.58 for Veterans Service office.

Amounts less than $4 each per year on the $100,000 property are levied for Veterans Service Office, County Treasurer, Medical Examiner, Elections, Commission On Aging, Emergency Government, Land and Water Support, Bay Lake Regional Planning, Parks and Forestry, Youth Fair, Historical Society, and Senior Citizens Center. A handful of departments are self supporting, and a few others earn money to offset the taxes needed. The Register of Deeds office generates a profit sufficient to take $1.75 off the taxes on a $100,000 property. State shared revenue subtracts another $17.03, delinquent taxes (because of interest) reduce the levy by $23.02, and applying reserve funds cut the required levy by $37.13, bringing the total levy to $522.70.

Hinds said after deducting all the reserve funds for 2014, the Unreserved General Fund balance will be $1.2 million. This is in addition to the $7 million the county has in savings, and the nearly $6 million kept for cash flow purposes.

Before adjourning for the day, Hamann reported briefly on the active shooter Emergency Government exercises that closed the courthouse from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29. We learned some things we have to correct, Hamann said.

There were few problems with people coming to the courthouse and finding it closed during normal business hours. One of them was a young couple seeking a marriage license and the other was a delivery driver.

Hamann thanked Oconto City officials for their cooperation and hospitality during the drill, particularly the police, who participated in evacuating the courthouse, and personnel at City Hall, which served as the evacuation area for persons evacuated from the courthouse.

County Clerk Kim Pytleski invited anyone interested to attend a Rural health Conference at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay on Saturday, Nov. 16.

The regular monthly County Board meeting on Thursday, Oct. 24 opened with a moment of silence for former Supervisor Claire Trepanier, who had passed away.

Rymer presented a certificate of appreciation to Robert Roszak for his 19 years of service to the residents of Oconto County.

UWEX Director John Pinkart introduced Sarah Mills-Lloyd, who is the new ag agent for the county. Mills-Lloyd is a licensed veterinarian. I think I can be helpful to you, Mills-Lloyd said , adding that her door is always open.

Pytleski read a letter from Douglas J. Hag, acting DNR real estate director, advising the county the department plans to buy 4.56 acres of land for a new Ranger Station in the City of Oconto Falls.

The board was informed that Gov. Scott Walker has appointed Supervisor Terry Brazeau to the Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission.

Several zoning ordinance amendments approved as recommended by the Zoning and Planning Committee were:

*Property owned by Harvey and Donald Mooren in the Town of Brazeau to change from residential single family district and forest district to rural residential district.

*Property owned by Paul Marquardt in the Town of Lena from residential single family, agricultural and general commercial district to residential single family and rural residential district.

*Property owned by Jerome Arndt in the Town of Little Suamico from agricultural district to forest district.

*Property owned by David LaCount, Wayne LaCount and Shady Lawn Dairy in the Town of Little Suamico from residential single family and agricultural district to agricultural and residential single family district.

*Property owned by Carol Yokeum in the Town of Mountain from residential single family to general commercial district.

*Property owned by Richard and Rogene Ronk in the Town of Townsend from rural residential to residential single family district.

The board at that Oct. 24 meeting approved going forward with land acquisition and design work for the new Law Enforcement Center.

Rymer said of the Sept. 19 meeting at which the site was approved and decision made to go forward, I personally feel this was the most important meeting in my 18 years as board chair....I want to thank everyone....When the Law Enforcement Center is built, it will be something we can show our children and grandchildren. He said the nearly unanimous vote on both resolutions Shows we have a board here that I’m proud to serve as chairman!

He said comments he has heard from the public are mainly that they are glad the Law Enforcement Center issue is finally settled and they like the location at the courthouse.

A bit later in the meeting Hamann said the wheels will be put in motion to start acquiring the north block properties. He would like to get Adams Street completely vacated so the building can be attached directly to the courthouse, which will mean more efficient operation. Without Adams Street the north site is 4.7 acres, but adding the street area will bring the site to almost 6 acres. He said one of the architectural engineers familiar with the project said the north site will be sufficient. He expects to spend a year on land acquisition and design, and doesn’t expect completion for four or five years.

At the request of Supervisor Rose Stellmacher former Oconto Mayor Don Nerenhausen had been allowed to address the board. Nerenhausen declared himself 100 percent in favor of the new law enforcement center, but totally opposed to the courthouse location.

Later, Stellmacher said she had not been aware until the day of the meeting that the proposed site was being changed from County S to the block north of the courthouse. However, she had researched another 12.7 acre property at Wagner and the Shell Station which has all utilities in and would not require vacating any properties. She asked if they were looking at spending $25 million on the building in addition to the $3 million for site acquisition and design, and Hamann said that might be the case. He said he too had looked into the property she referred to, and soils there will not support the size building they need.

Supervisor Robert Reinhart noted the NEWCAP complex was built just nine years ago, and asked if there was any chance of keeping that. Hamann said after they get a design they may find a way to get along without that property. Partly that will depend on whether or not the city will vacate Adams Street.

An attempt by Stellmacher to table the enabling motions failed for lack of a second. Hamann said if the resolutions were tabled he would not even be able research actual property costs. The two resolutions then passed by 28 to 1 vote, with only Stellmacher opposed. Supervisors Terry Brazeau and Alan Sleeter were absent.

On request of Pytleski, the board raised per diem pay for the Board of Canvassers from $40 to $60 for the day, same as County Board. Pytleski said they sometimes work 8 to 12 hours for the $40 pay, and work at least 4 to 6 hours for the fall elections. They’re very good at what they do and I don’t want to lose them, Pytleski declared. Stellmacher agreed a raise is long overdue. She said canvassing ballots is tedious work and everyone almost always goes home with a headache. Approval was unanimous. The last raise was 14 years ago.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
01-18-2017Obituaries
Joseph W. Majkrzak

01-18-2017Obituaries
Rev. Richard Mauthe

01-18-2017Community - Wausaukee
Auxiliary 66 Has 56 Paid Members

01-18-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Travel Club Plans Niagara Falls Trip

01-18-2017Community - Wausaukee
Valentine Motif at Red Matriarchs

01-18-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Child Development Screening

01-18-2017Community - Coleman
Van Drisse Earns UW-W Honors

01-18-2017Community - Coleman
No School at Coleman Jan. 23

01-18-2017Community - Coleman
Elvis Tribute Artist at Equity on Jan. 20-21

01-18-2017Community - Coleman
North Country Kickers Lessons, Winter Dance

01-18-2017Community - Crivitz
Valentine Dance at Parish Hall

01-18-2017Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam Jan. 20

01-18-2017Community - Crivitz
8 at Monday Card Group Meet

01-18-2017Community - Crivitz
High Falls Radar Run Saturday, Jan. 21

01-18-2017Front Page
HEAVY DAMAGE

01-18-2017Front Page
Citizen's Building Committee Forming for Peshtigo Schools

01-18-2017Front Page
County HHS Committee Remembers Kathy Just

01-18-2017Front Page
CBA Is Working On Event Plans

01-18-2017Front Page
Riverside Cemetery Hires Garon as Sexton

01-18-2017Front Page
Town of Peshtigo Okays Committee Appointments

01-18-2017Sports
AREA WRESTLING

01-18-2017Sports
M&O Girls Basketball

01-18-2017Sports
GNC"Boys Basketball

01-18-2017Sports
M&O Boys Basketball

01-18-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

01-18-2017Perspectives
From our readers

01-18-2017Perspectives
From My Window

01-18-2017Obituaries
Linda L. Block

01-18-2017Obituaries
Dale L. Borkowski

01-18-2017Obituaries
Selina F. Emmes

01-18-2017Obituaries
Walter J. Freed

01-18-2017Obituaries
Avis L. Gryzwa

01-18-2017Obituaries
Charles E. Heimbuch

01-18-2017Obituaries
Marion C. Henne

01-18-2017Obituaries
Nichole M. Jarman

01-18-2017Obituaries
Patricia Johnson

01-18-2017Obituaries
David Kelsey

01-18-2017Obituaries
Gaylord H. King

01-18-2017Obituaries
Nancy J. Kostreva

01-18-2017Obituaries
Carl W. Krueger

01-18-2017Obituaries
Walter L. Krueger, Jr.

01-18-2017Obituaries
Harry W. Lieburn

01-18-2017Obituaries


01-18-2017Obituaries
Jane F. Martens

01-18-2017Obituaries
Harold E. Mathias

01-18-2017Obituaries


01-18-2017Obituaries
Robert H. Melchoir

01-18-2017Obituaries
Lillian M. Miller

01-18-2017Obituaries
Virginia Miller

01-18-2017Obituaries
Rhonda R. Pagenkopf

01-18-2017Obituaries
Genevieve M. Reinke

01-18-2017Obituaries
Dan Schneider

01-18-2017Obituaries
Bruce F. Schuettpelz

01-18-2017Obituaries
Berthy Van Caster

01-18-2017Obituaries
James Van Doren, Jr.

01-18-2017Obituaries
Doris E. Vieth

01-18-2017Obituaries
Helen J. VanHulle

01-18-2017Obituaries
Olive M. Zutter

01-11-2017Front Page
WINTER CONDITIONS

01-11-2017Front Page
Miron Sentenced To One Year In Jail, $55,000 Fines

01-11-2017Front Page
Lefebvre Expects Few Changes To Land Information Duties

01-11-2017Front Page
Opera for the Young Performs in Marinette

01-11-2017Front Page
County Jail Faces More Hiring Issues

01-11-2017Community - Coleman
Kickers Dance Lessons Wednesdays, Jan. 28 Dance

01-11-2017Community - Coleman
Church Hosts Pasta Dinner

01-11-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board In Monthly Meeting Jan. 16

01-11-2017Community - Coleman
Library Assoc. Needs Members

01-11-2017Community - Crivitz
Tumbling, Violin Lessons at Crivitz

01-11-2017Community - Crivitz
Town Stephenson Gets 9 Mechanic Applications

01-11-2017Community - Crivitz
Donates Property to Historical Society

01-11-2017Community - Crivitz
Woman's Club Jan. 19 Meeting

01-11-2017Community - Wausaukee
Card Series To Start in Silver Cliff

01-11-2017Community - Wausaukee
Near North Trail Meat Raffle Jan. 14

01-11-2017Community - Wausaukee
Opera For Young at Wausaukee Jan. 18th

01-11-2017Community - Wausaukee
Announce Shallow Scholarship Recipients

01-11-2017Obituaries
Shirley M. Thompson

01-11-2017Obituaries
Dale P. Ryan

01-11-2017Obituaries
Stephen J. Reinke

01-11-2017Obituaries
Harold A. Neece

01-11-2017Obituaries
Barbara J. Maske

01-11-2017Obituaries
Kathryn L. Just

01-11-2017Obituaries
Benjamin C. Fernstrum - CORRECTION

01-11-2017Obituaries
Edna Borkowski

01-11-2017Obituaries
Marjorie Bjork

01-11-2017Obituaries
Renata C. Waldorf

01-11-2017Obituaries
Arthur R. Strohl

01-11-2017Obituaries
Michael C. Strebel

01-11-2017Obituaries
Roger C. Seefeldt

01-11-2017Obituaries
Lorraine A. Poquette

01-11-2017Obituaries
Adolph J. Paholke

01-11-2017Obituaries
Mary Rose Mathews

01-11-2017Obituaries
Lawrence L. LaGassie

01-11-2017Obituaries
Florence Churchill

01-11-2017Obituaries
Patricia M. "Pat" Carter

01-11-2017Obituaries
Howard P. Allgeyer

01-11-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

01-11-2017Perspectives
From My Window

01-11-2017Sports
M&O Boys Basketball - Bulldogs' Defense Keys Win Over Thunderhawks

01-11-2017Sports
M&O Girls Basketball - Peshtigo Alone as M&O's Top Dog

01-11-2017Sports
L-C Edges Coleman In Battle Of State Powers

01-11-2017Sports
White Potato Lake Ice Fishing Derby Jan. 21

01-04-2017Front Page
Gallagher Sworn in as Representative of Wisconsin's 8th District

01-04-2017Front Page
Few Challenges in April 4 Election, Primary in Town of Peshtigo Feb. 21

01-04-2017Front Page
Deputies Cannot Accept Woller Gift

01-04-2017Front Page
Peshtigo City Council Approves Raises, Hires Building Inspector

01-04-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin - Brrrrrrr......

01-04-2017Front Page
Marinette Council Approves Search for New City Hall Site

01-04-2017Front Page
Aquila Gets Two Permits For Back 40 Mine, Need Two More

01-04-2017Sports
NON-CONFERENCE WRESTLING

01-04-2017Sports
Area Girls Basketball

01-04-2017Sports
Marine Basketball

01-04-2017Perspectives
From My Window - There's No Taste Like Home

01-04-2017Community - Coleman
Take Broken Christmas Lights

01-04-2017Community - Coleman
Middle School Students of Month

01-04-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility Meeting Jan. 9

01-04-2017Community - Coleman
Food Pantry Feeds 60 People Monthly

01-04-2017Sports
Non-Conference Boys Basketball

01-04-2017Community - Wausaukee
Card Series To Start in Silver Cliff

01-04-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Legion Meet Jan. 21st

01-04-2017Community - Wausaukee
23 Units Collected at SC Blood Drive

01-04-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Board Meeting Jan. 11

01-04-2017Community - Crivitz
Nickel Found Alive And Well

01-04-2017Community - Crivitz
Woman's Club Jan. 19 Meeting

01-04-2017Community - Crivitz
Donates Property to Historical Society

01-04-2017Community - Crivitz
Craft Show To Benefit Twin Bridge Rescue Squad

01-04-2017Obituaries
Albert H. Brown

01-04-2017Obituaries
Harold A. Conklin

01-04-2017Obituaries
Russell Desotell

01-04-2017Obituaries
James Eggener

01-04-2017Obituaries
Diane D. Ewaldt

01-04-2017Obituaries
Valerie J. Fuller

01-04-2017Obituaries
Benjamin C. Fernstrum

01-04-2017Obituaries
Eleanore G. Ferris

01-04-2017Obituaries
Norman F. Hansen

01-04-2017Obituaries
Alfred R. Janssen

01-04-2017Obituaries
Mary L. Kamps

01-04-2017Obituaries
Evelyn C. Kardoskee

01-04-2017Obituaries
Allen J. Kuehnau

01-04-2017Obituaries
Michael Leonard

01-04-2017Obituaries
Agnes A. Molter                      

01-04-2017Obituaries
Sharon A. Moens

01-04-2017Obituaries
Kenneth L. Powell

01-04-2017Obituaries
Carol A. Rae

01-04-2017Obituaries
Darryl J. Schmid

01-04-2017Obituaries
David A. Schroeder

01-04-2017Obituaries
Donna R. Schuh

01-04-2017Obituaries
Jean A. Schuchart

01-04-2017Obituaries
Kerry A. Streeter

01-04-2017Obituaries
Carol J. Trempe

01-04-2017Obituaries
Rufina M. Wagner


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think the Packers can make it to the Super Bowl?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2017
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites