THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
County Board To Hear Budget Message Oct. 31
Marinette County Administrator John LeFebvre will present his 2018 budget message to County Board at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 31 in preparation for adoption of the budget and tax levy following a public hearing starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14.
Thanks to a slight increase in property values and a slight decrease in proposed spending for 2018, the Marinette county tax rate is expected to be down slightly on the tax bills that go out in December - from $4.56 per $1,000 to $4.507 per $1,000 of equalized value.
Equalized value of all taxable properties in the county is$3,713,184,900, up 3.69 percent from last year.
County debt is projected to drop slightly, from $54,065,103 at the end of 2016 to an estimated $45,211,665 at the end of 2017.
Tuesday's board meeting may or may not include action on a controversial recommendation to open all county highways to ATV traffic. That decision hinges on the outcome of a special Highway Committee meeting on Thursday, Oct. 26. (See related story, "ATVs On County Roads".)
The Oct. 31 full board meeting is expected to include an update on UW college realignment given by Keith Montgomery, dean of UW Colleges and UW Extension North Region.
There had been concern that the restructuring of two and four year campuses that is now in progress in the UW College system could have a negative impact on the Marinette campus. Montgomery assured attendees at a meeting hosted by the UW-Marinette Foundation on Tuesday, Oct. 17, that the Marinette campus "is not going anywhere," and he is expected to repeat that assurance to the County Board.
Through a partnership agreement, Marinette County provides the buildings and does major upkeep on the local campus and the UW-Colleges system provides for programming, staff and regular maintenance.
The current restructuring apparently makes the 2-year Marinette UW campus a satellite of the 4-year campus in Green Bay, but Montgomery said he thinks of this arrangement as more of a partnership with the Green Bay school than a merger. More details on the plan are expected at Tuesday's County Board meeting.
The board will also get a report on the updated county website from the Information Services department. That update includes revamping of the county's tourism web page. At a meeting of the Tourism Alliance committee on Thursday, Oct.12, members learned that the website was being re-done. Several members expressed surprise that no one from their organization had been informed about the proposed changes and discussion indicated that they wish to at least have input as to the contents of the new "Real North" tourism web site.
WCA Outreach Manager Jon Hochkammer is to address the board on the subject of committee chair authority.
Approval of Sue Hinch as Child Support director effective on Sunday, Oct. 29 is expected.
The board is also expected to officially support a resolution supporting the request for the state to appoint a special prosecutor for the District Attorney's office as previously requested by he Executive committee, and to support a resolution opposing repeal of an existing prohibition on issuing sulfide ore mining permits in Wisconsin, which is proposed by Wisconsin Senate Bill 395.
Several personnel policies manual changes are recommended, and some job assignments are being revamped.
Approval is expected for the Marinette County Forestry Department's 2018 annual work plan.