UPDATE: The Caledonia budget proposal has been published and a public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 at the East Side Community Center, 6156 Douglas Avenue. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments section.
ORIGINAL STORY: Taxes will remain relatively flat and spending will only see a slight bump in 2013 under a budget proposal given preliminary approval by the Village Board Monday.
The proposed 2013 budget is $13.2 million, an increase of $55,983, or 4.2 percent, over the 2012 budget. The budget includes the village operations, two storm sewer districts, and the sewer and water utility.
The budget used exclusively for the village operations is $12.9 million. The 2013 general fund levy is $9.406 million, a $3,000 decrease over the 2012 budget of $9.409 million.
The tax rate remains unknown, because an assement still needs to be completed, but leaders said there should be no major impact to property taxes despite a change in the rate due to the assessment.
“You have to realize the mill rate is going to increase on a normal home,” village admnistrator Mark Janiuk said, because if property assessments decrease as the rate increses, the tax bill should remain stable.
One major change is the capital improvement projects budget, which is increasing by more than 50 percent. That budget was set at $945,000 in 2012, and contains $1.5 million in the 2013 budget proposal. The biggest increases are $466,000 for building improvements for the fire department, up from $52,500 in 2012, and the highway department upped spending to $892,000 in 2013, compared to $699,500 in 2012.
Fire chief Dick Roeder told the village finance committee in September that he needed to upgrade the sprinkler system and air conditioner in station 10, but the budgeted amount represents 50 percent of the cost of the project because the village of Mount Pleasant is paying the other half of the cost since both communities own the building.
The board didn’t fully discuss possible changes to the budget from the still-to-be-settled health insurance plans for the police and fire department unions. It also didn’t allow discussion of possible wage adjustments for some non-union represented employees within the department.
The board did approve a 10 percent wage increase to Jim Svoboda, who oversees Mount Pleasant-Caledonia Joint Park, marking his first possible pay increase in nearly 10 years.
The public will have a chance to learn more and comment on the budget at a Nov. 13 public hearing. The budget then goes back to the board for final approval.
“I’m OK with this,” board member Lee Wishau said about the budget. “I think you guys did a good job.”