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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Expect Marinette County Taxes To Drop Slightly For 2021 Levy

Issue Date: October 21, 2020

Members of the public will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed Marinette County 2021 budget and tax levy at a 10 a.m. public hearing to be held during the County Board's regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at the Herbert L. Williams Theatre on the Bay, which is located on the UW-Green Bay's Marinette Campus at 750 Bay Shore Street, Marinette.

If adopted as expected, the total county tax rate will be $4.315 per $1,000 of assessed value, down from $4.404 for 2020, and $4.442 for 2019. property tax bills also include school and municipal taxes. The county budget includes use of $5,506,515 in surplus funds, down from $9,314,172 used last year. Special purpose levies, mainly for bridge aids, will add one thirteenth of a cent to some tax bills.

The budget, as proposed by County Administrator John LeFebvre had previously been given tentative County Board approval. County Board adoption of the budget and tax levy of $16,421,262 to support is expected. There is also to be a debt reduction tax levy of 25 cents per $1,000. This special levy allows early repayment of some of the county's long-term debt, which will cut interest expenses for county taxpayers for years to come.

Total equalized value of all properties in the county is listed at $4,039,237,800, up slightly from $3,919,032,900 last year and $3,829,625,500 the year before.

Despite a drop in profits this year, possibly due to Covid-19, income generated by the County Forestry Department cuts the 2021 total property tax levy by $1,790,293.

The day for some County Supervisors will start at 8:30 a.m., when the Infrastructure Committee will meet to consider an agreement with SGTS,Inc. to furnish and install access control equipment in the Resource Center at a cost of $41,894. Renovation work to convert the old Ella Court Law Enforcement Center into the Resource Center is nearly complete, including the green roof which will offer an outdoor patio area atop the building, making it the first of its kind in downtown Marinette.

The board will be asked to authorize the Sheriff's office to apply for and use a $53,000 Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funds grant, and to approve routine Child Support Office contract agreements with Wisconsin Department of Children and Families totaling $326,507.

If approved as recommended by the Administrative Committee at its meeting on Thursday, Oct. 15, Marinette County will use a "Routes to Recovery" grant to buy new voting machines for every municipality in the county from Command Central and Domino Voting systems, and County Board will authorize transfer of up to $212,758 from the 2020 Contingency Fund to cover any gap between the Routes to Recovery funds received and cost of the machines. At the September County Board meeting County Clerk Kathy Brandt had explained new ballot requirements being imposed by state and/or federal governments and the need for all new voting machines to allow automated counting of all ballots. The recommendation is for the county to buy all the machines needed to get the best price due to the quantity that will be purchased. The county's 2021 Capital Improvements plan had already included replacement of the county-wide voting machines purchased in 2006.

Other items recommended by the Administrative Committee include adoption of ordinance changes that eliminate need for County Board approval of agreements or contracts and grants totaling less than $25,000; a 3-year agreement with MBM for copier rental at a cost of $0.0155 per black image and $0.045 per color image, with repairs, support, maintenance and supplies included; agreements offered to municipalities for the County Treasurer's office to collect real estate tax payments, and a minor amendment to the county's Personnel Policies and Procedures manual.

At the Administrative Committee meeting Finance Director Laura Mans had presented information on the county's investments in various funds. She had recommended adding BlackRock Mid-Cap Growth Equity Fund as an investment for the county's Deferred Compensation Plan and removing Columbia Acorn Fund. County Board will be asked to approve that change, provided it has been approved by Corporation Counsel Gale Mattison.

On recommendation of the Health and Human Services Board, County Board will be asked to release the July through December allocations for CFA, AODA and Youth Aids totaling $882,171; approve a Juvenile Justice Community Intervention Program contract totaling $29,575, and, in conjunction with Elderly Services, apply for a $151,289 grant for elderly transportation services for one year.

Some changes to the Parks User Fee schedule are also on the agenda for action by the full board.

In addition to the voting machines, the county's 2021 Capital Improvements plan includes replacement of two pickup trucks for the Forestry Department; repairs to the pool and parking lot at the UW Fieldhouse, development of an ATV campground in Dunbar, electrical upgrades to Twin Bridge Park, and creation and development of additional recreational trails on county lands.

In addition to $1.5 million allocated each year for road maintenance the Capital Improvement plan calls for improvements to County M; County W from County M to Hwy. 141; County B from University Drive to Dahl Road, chip sealing and wedging on County Y and County JJ, and reconditioning and drainage improvements for County W from Pitt Lane to Loomis Road.

There is provision for improvements to information technology equipment, including $294,847 for a new jail door control system.

The Capital Budget Plan also provides $22,000 for purchase of a new DAV van in 2021.


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