What's News in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

Village Approach to 2011
Since incorporation in 1989, the Village has taken a consistent and steady approach towards creating a balance between economic development, residential growth and recreational resources. This balance has lent a certain level of stability to our local tax base and has left the Village in a good position to weather the economic downturn. Though it has been necessary to take measures to offset the ongoing economic challenges, the Village Board and staff remain committed to providing high-quality municipal services for a fair cost, while keeping the Village portion of your property tax payment at a stable level.

The Village Board and staff will again enter the new year with a conservative and watchful approach, while continuing to focus on high-quality public safety services and roadway improvements. The Village will continue to:

use impact fees so existing taxpayers do not pay for the cost of new growth
use Municipal Levy Limits as prescribed by the State
use debt reduction from borrowing prior to 2008 to purchase capital and resurface roads
limit the number of new budget programs for 2011
borrow only for major Village-wide capital purchases
maintain a Reserve Fund balance above 15%
only use the Fund balance as a last resort

Operating expenses for 2011 are expected to increase, in part due to personnel related expenses. Though no raises are budgeted for Village employees again in 2011, health and life insurance expenses will increase by 20%, and the Village will hire two additional full-time police officers. To help offset personnel related expenses, the Village has trimmed four additional positions for 2011. Over the past three years, twelve total positions have been eliminated. Village employees have been and will continue to multi-task, with some individuals taking on the responsibilities of multiple positions without additional compensation. In addition, certain service-related positions have salaries that are subsidized by outside sources in return for professional services provided.

Additional steps being implemented in 2011 to help reduce costs include: a second year of salary freezes across the board for all Village employees; a 25% reduction, for all departments, in travel and educational conferences; a reduction in the amount of 2011 overtime for hourly employees; a reduction in attorney fees; and a 20% reduction in cell phone costs throughout the Village departments. Each department will be responsible for implementing realistic plans to help them achieve these reductions.

During 2010, non property tax revenue (or income) was better than expected by approximately $400,000. To help offset the increase in operating expenses, the Village will use approximately $250,000 of this unanticipated, one-time revenue to help lower the 2011 Tax Levy and relieve a portion of the tax burden. The remaining $150,000 will be used to cover capital projects to help reduce borrowing. Funds from reduced debt payments during 2011 will also be used to help pay for 2011 capital expenses. Approximately $555,775 will be redirected from reduced debt payments towards capital projects. See page 5 for of your November 2010 Village Newsletter for a listing of capital projects in 2011.

The Village Board, department heads and staff remain committed to safeguarding municipal investments and operations in a cost effective and realistic manner. At the same time, the Village remains committed to attracting new economic development in order to supplement the tax base and provide a more balanced and stable financial environment. The Village is continuing efforts to attract new business to the corporate park and will continue to invest in infrastructure within Tax Incremental District #2 to encourage economic development. See page 7 of your November 2010 Village Newsletter for more information related to economic development.

Pages four and five of your November 2010 Village Newsletter offer an overview of the 2011 General Government Budget along with an outline of the capital projects planned for 2011. If you would like more detail related to the 2011 budget, you can find links to the 2011 Budget Presentation and Summaries by clicking here.

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