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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Middle Inlet Holds Special Meet To Increase Tax Levy

Issue Date: December 5, 2019

Town of Middle Inlet electors are being asked to attend a special town meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12 to approve a tax levy of $464,430, which is $50,000 more than they would otherwise be allowed by Wisconsin state law. Last year's general property tax levy was $413,431.

According to Town Chair Richard Wade, if electors do not approve the increase, the town will not qualify for some available grants, and would be able to afford reconstruction of only about a mile of town road during 2020 without borrowing. The town currently has no long term debt.

If electors at the meeting approve, the overall tax rate will increase by 12 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or $12 a year per $100,000 of assessed property value.

The Town Board and the three other electors at the annual meeting and budget hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 19 had chosen not to adopt the budget as proposed due to concerns over state levy limit constraints that would prevent them from meeting what they see as a need for more road maintenance and improvement money for the coming year.

Wade explained with the harsh winter last year the town had spent $120,000 on plowing, sanding and salting roads, and if this winter is equally bad they would be able to do possibly a mile of road improvement work in 2020.

He had been told by a contractor that the price of asphalt is increasing from $58 a ton last year to $73 a ton this year, the price of limestone is rising by 50 cents a ton, just one of the culverts for next year's Moonshine Hill project will cost $10,000, and the Camp Five Road culvert reconstruction needs to be done in accord with some very expensive DNR regulations because they affect a Class A trout stream.

Every one at the public hearing portion of the Nov. 19 meeting expressed support for the proposed $50,000 increase for road maintenance.

Wade said without the proposed levy increase they probably will not be able to do the Moonshine Hill Road project next year unless they borrow the money.

Also the state has a new local road improvement grant program that will pay 90 percent toward the cost of approved town road projects that must total more than $250,000. If approved, the town would need to provide its 10 percent share, which would be at least $25,000. If they cannot do that they will lose any chance for the grant. He added he has prepared many grant applications during his time as town chair and none were refused. He hopes to submit an application for this round of project funding.

Wade commented when he first became town chair years ago they called a special town meeting at which electors approved doubling the road budget and improvement projects began. Since then, until they were hit with the heavy expenses that last winter brought, they have managed to stay within the limits set at that time.


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