space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* From Our Readers
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Coleman Holds One Game Lead in M&O Play
* Gillett/Peshtigo Hold 2nd Place Conference Spots
* Cougars Top Cutler Field, Crown Five Champions
* DNR Seeking Nominations for Hunter Ethics Award
* Menominee Wins M&M Match Up; Coleman Downs Crivitz

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

Speakers Assured No Cuts Pending for Library Funds

Issue Date: September 19, 2019

A suggestion made by Marinette County Board Chair Mark Anderson during budget discussions at the Administrative Committee meeting on Thursday, Sept. 12 drew a firestorm of objections at the County Board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 17. Anderson had suggested taking $150,000 from the Marinette County Library system budget this year and perhaps $300,000 next year and putting the money toward improved Internet connectivity for underserved county residents.

That idea did not sit well with supporters of the library, and by coincidence, the Library Board's quarterly meeting on Monday, Sept. 16 had included adoption of its own budget for 2020. The Marinette County Consolidated Library System includes the Stephenson Public Library in Marinette plus branch libraries in Peshtigo, Coleman, Crivitz, Wausaukee, Niagara and Goodman, and a room full of supporters turned out for Tuesday's County Board meeting, including Library Board Chair Cheryl Maxwell and Library Administrator Jennifer Thiele, who had previously been slated to present her annual report to the board.

Other major issues scheduled for the Board meeting took something of a back seat to the library issue, which ended with County Administrator John LeFebvre promising there is no cut to the library in his proposed budget.

The meeting included LeFebvre's budget message, as well as a report on results of the Bay Lakes Regional Planning study of ways to improve economic development and tourism in the county. That report, given mainly by Kristen Fish-Peterson, CEO of Redevelopment Resources which had been contracted to work with BLRPC on recommendations for the economic development structure for the county, included a strong recommendation to work with inVenture North, successor to Marinette County Association for Business and Industry, on both general economic development and tourism promotion activities. Fish-Peterson strongly advised against setting up a separate county department for either of these activities.

In his budget message, LeFebvre told the board his proposed budget provides adequate funding for the County to continue the same level of service in the areas of public safety, maintaining the County road system, providing services to the most vulnerable residents in the County, and allows the County to continue operations through 2020.

The 2020 budget public hearing will be held in the County Board Room at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29. At that time, the general public may speak to the County Board regarding the proposed 2020 budget, after which the Board will consider any comments received, make any amendments approved by a majority of the Board, and adopt the 2020 budget.

State Law limits a county's levy increase to net new construction growth in equalized value otherwise known as "new growth" and some other factors. The County's net new construction growth equates to 1.284% and this net new growth combined with a TID Closeout results in a 1.417% increase in the County's allowable tax levy for 2020. This equates to a $227,407 allowable operating levy increase in 2020 which is a decrease of $15,698 when compared to the operating levy increase allowed in 2019. The proposed 2020 budget sets the operating levy at the legal maximum - $16,279,312, LeFebvre said.

He noted that Marinette County's 2019 equalized valuation increased 2.3% to $3,919,032,900, not including Tax Incremental Districts. This increase is a combination of new construction and increases in existing property valuation within the County. He noted this lags far behind the state's overall growth of 5.8%.

The County's unassigned fund balance as of January 1, 2019 was $9,686,310.70. This is an increase of $513,657.74 over the fund balance on January 1, 2018. The unassigned fund balance does not include $11,708,907.50 in the property tax levy reduction fund or $2,000,000 in the service level stabilization fund, which are both committed to the County's general fund balance. All projected investment revenue generated from general fund dollars in 2020 will be used to fund County services in the 2020 budget.

In accordance with the County's fund balance policy, the total General Fund Unassigned Fund Balance is to be maintained at a level of no less than 17% of total regular general fund operating expenditures. The County's ending 2019 unassigned fund balance is anticipated to be in excess of $9,172,652. Provided this occurs the County's Unassigned Fund Balance ratio to general fund expenditures at the end of 2019 will be at 38%. My recommendation will be to use a portion of this unassigned fund balance to cover the costs associated with the renovation of the Old LEC Building 2020. It is not anticipated that the use of a portion of this unassigned fund balance for this renovation project will reduce the unassigned fund balance to less than 17% of total regular general fund operating expenditures.

The budget provides for paying off $6.8 million of the county's outstanding debt in 2020, $3.7 million more than last year, while maintaining a 25-cent debt service levy. The remainder of the debt retirement is to come from the sales tax fund, which is projected to have income of $3.65 million, up 1.39 percent over the 2019 projections

LeFebvre's formal message said the budget includes numerous changes in expenditures and/or revenue. Some of the most notable increases in expenditures are: salaries and fringes associated with the wage increase, increase in the number of full time equivalent positions for county employees, purchase of vehicles/vehicle cameras for the Sheriff Department and the increase in debt service payment.

LeFebvre highly praised the work Human Resources Director Jennifer Holtger had done in setting up the county's new self insurance program for county employees. He added that what appears to be an increase of $7.4 million in insurance is for the most part the result of the County creating a budget to manage the County's self-insurance fund. The revenue to cover this budget increase originates from the premiums assessed to each department for Health and Dental Insurance.

Balancing the 2020 budget involved using a good portion of the Land Records Modernization fund balance; interest payment received from the City of Marinette in 2020, a portion of the Highway Department fund balance, a portion of the Information Services fund balance, a portion of the Capital Facilities fund balance, a portion of the Forestry and Parks Development fund balance and a portion of the Forestry Heavy Equipment fund balance, an amount equal to the growth in the general fund balance from 2018 to 2019, and use of the County's allowable operating levy limit increase.

He is still waiting for some final numbers from the state, but any adjustments will not change the county's operating levy limit or the debt levy limit or related tax rates. He is to provide a final draft of the proposed 2020 Budget and all summary sheets by the end of September.

Another issue discussed in some detail was a request for Snowmobile and ATV/UTV connections from the City and Town of Niagara to trail systems leading to other parts of Marinette County and the Upper Peninsula.

Over 20 individuals had signed up to address the board under provisions for public comment, most of them in regard to the suggested reduction in library funding. After hearing from six of them Anderson cut off public input, stating there was no proposal on the day's agenda to cut library spending, and his comments were just part of a committee discussion.

Roger Allen asked to have the ATV/UTV trail issue returned for discussion by the Infrastructure Committee. The request had been for a snowmobile crossing and ATV/UTV trail connections at County O and County N.

Allen said the City of Niagara had opened up its streets to recreational vehicle traffic to gain the economic benefits, and subsequently the town had opened all but two of its roads.

Highway Commissioner Eric Burmeister showed videos of what he described as a dangerous angle intersection County O and County N, and indicated a willingness to discuss other solutions to the recreational trail issues. Problems there include the angle of the highway crossing, terrain in general, and signs blocking vision.

Supervisor Al Sauld, who represents Town of Niagara on County Board, and Supervisor Gilbert Engel, who represents the City of Niagara, suggested something needs to be done at the County O and N intersection in any case, because it is indeed a dangerous crossing with limited visibility. Supervisor Ginger Deschane said she frequently travels in that area and has witnessed some near-accidents there involving school busses.

Changes in the recreational trail/highway ordinance were approved as recommended by the Infrastructure Committee, with the understanding that the recreational trail issues will be further addressed at future meetings.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
01-17-2020Front Page
Robert Chaltry Named New Grover-Porterfield Fire Chief

01-17-2020Front Page
County Board Approves $180,000 Armed Rescue Vehicle Purchase

01-17-2020Front Page
Pound Terminates Public Works Director Kevin Schutte As Village Employee

01-17-2020Front Page
LaVigne Sentenced To 5-Year Prison Term For Sex Assault

01-17-2020Front Page
Peshtigo's Gail Bantes is Assembly Hometown Hero

01-17-2020Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee School Reps at Wagner Town Meeting

01-17-2020Community - Wausaukee
6 WHS Students Enrolled in NWTC EMT Class

01-17-2020Community - Wausaukee
AARP Tax Aid Session Dates

01-17-2020Community - Wausaukee
Auxiliary Offers $1000 Scholarship

01-17-2020Community - Crivitz
Roots Salon & Spa New Name for Crivitz Business

01-17-2020Community - Crivitz
Stephenson Board Approves Permits

01-17-2020Community - Crivitz
Annual Young Trappers Workshop

01-17-2020Community - Crivitz
GFWC Honors Carol Jeske

01-17-2020Community - Coleman
Suring School Board Sets Open Enrollment Limits

01-17-2020Community - Coleman
Honor Verduzco as the January Student of the Month

01-17-2020Community - Coleman
Candidates For Suring Board

01-17-2020Community - Coleman
Packers Fan Hall of Fame Finalist

01-17-2020Sports
Coleman Holds One Game Lead in M&O Play

01-17-2020Sports
Gillett/Peshtigo Hold 2nd Place Conference Spots

01-17-2020Sports
Cougars Top Cutler Field, Crown Five Champions

01-17-2020Sports
DNR Seeking Nominations for Hunter Ethics Award

01-17-2020Perspectives
From Our Readers

01-17-2020Perspectives
Country Cousin

01-17-2020Perspectives
From My Window

01-17-2020Obituaries
David C. Brandt

01-17-2020Obituaries
Paul C. Boucher

01-17-2020Obituaries
Carl D. Durocher

01-17-2020Obituaries
Bryan L. Evitts

01-17-2020Obituaries
Keith J. Evrard

01-17-2020Obituaries
Fr. Lawrence Gerend

01-17-2020Obituaries
Sheila R. Hamann

01-17-2020Obituaries
Susan Hittman

01-17-2020Obituaries
Ruth A. LaPerriere

01-17-2020Obituaries
Judy K. Larson

01-17-2020Obituaries
Diane T. Rehberg

01-17-2020Obituaries
John H. Rogers

01-17-2020Obituaries
William T. Schmuhl

01-17-2020Obituaries
Janice A. Vanitvelt

01-09-2020Front Page
Sentinel Structures Timber In Award Winning Building

01-09-2020Front Page
Little Competition for Offices To Be Filled In Spring Elections

01-09-2020Front Page
Peshtigo Will Look Again At BPM Inc. Sewer Rates

01-09-2020Front Page
Second Suspect Charged February 2019 Drug Death

01-09-2020Front Page
Marinette Council Votes To Keep Ella Court Open

01-09-2020Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee House Destroyed by Fire

01-09-2020Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Blood Drive Nets 31 Units

01-09-2020Community - Crivitz
Return to Nam Program at Crivitz VFW Post

01-09-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Board Okays Calendar For 2020 - 2021

01-09-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Elementary/Middle School Student of December

01-09-2020Community - Crivitz
Felting Class at Crivitz Jan. 25th

01-09-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz VFW Post Hold Christmas Party

01-09-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Gives 2 Mobile Grants

01-09-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman Water, Sewer to Meet

01-09-2020Community - Coleman
Where Does The County Property Tax Money Go?

01-09-2020Community - Coleman
Vote for Jeff Gasser for Packers Fan Hall of Fame

01-09-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman Village Board Met Monday, Jan. 6th

01-09-2020Sports
Menominee Wins M&M Match Up; Coleman Downs Crivitz

01-09-2020Sports
Wausaukee Takes Down Florence; Peshtigo Beats Gibraltar

01-09-2020Sports
Coleman, Lena & Crivitz Lead Area Teams on the Mats

01-09-2020Sports
Bald Eagle Events Take Off In January

01-09-2020Perspectives
Country Cousin

01-09-2020Perspectives
From My Window

01-09-2020Perspectives
From Our Readers

01-09-2020Obituaries
Marie C. Blahnik

01-09-2020Obituaries
David J. Carlson

01-09-2020Obituaries
Virginia A. DeDamos

01-09-2020Obituaries
Judith A. Dohl

01-09-2020Obituaries
Trever M. Francour

01-09-2020Obituaries
Robert D. Hanson

01-09-2020Obituaries
John P. Hartz

01-09-2020Obituaries
Larry Hoppa

01-09-2020Obituaries
Frank W Jackson, Jr.

01-09-2020Obituaries
Dalton A. Kaster

01-09-2020Obituaries
Caroline E. Korpi

01-09-2020Obituaries
Elizabeth J. Kozlovsky

01-09-2020Obituaries
Lyle O. Lange

01-09-2020Obituaries
Edwin C. Luczak

01-09-2020Obituaries
Kenneth P. Marineau

01-09-2020Obituaries
Dale L. Nichols

01-09-2020Obituaries
Gabrielann Okins

01-09-2020Obituaries
Kenneth J. Polasky

01-09-2020Obituaries
Francis Shampine

01-09-2020Obituaries
Jessie L. Shampo

01-09-2020Obituaries
Ronald J. Storrm

01-09-2020Obituaries
James A. Weaver

01-02-2020Front Page


01-02-2020Front Page
Storms, Murders, Heroism, Fires Make 2019 Headlines

01-02-2020Front Page
Nieminski Sentenced To 9 Years, 9 Months In Prison

01-02-2020Front Page
Peshtigo Discusses ATV/UTV Routes Near School and Park

01-02-2020Front Page
Porterfield Board To Swear In Chaltry As New Fire Chief

01-02-2020Front Page
School Board Candidates Must File Papers By Jan. 7

01-02-2020Sports
Peshtigo Nips Crivitz at Kress

01-02-2020Community - Wausaukee
Housing Development Meetings in Wausaukee

01-02-2020Community - Wausaukee
Football Hall Fame Tickets on Sale

01-02-2020Community - Wausaukee
Revisions to Broad Incidental Take Permits and Authorizations

01-02-2020Community - Wausaukee
Winter Card Series For Silver Cliff Rescue

01-02-2020Community - Crivitz
Smiley Family Hosted Christmas Party Dec. 21

01-02-2020Community - Crivitz
Machickanee Players Annual Meeting Jan. 19

01-02-2020Community - Crivitz
CPR Class Offered at Bellin, Crivitz

01-02-2020Community - Coleman
Baenen Memorial Ice Fishing Banquet Jan. 24

01-02-2020Community - Coleman
Softball on Ice Tournament Feb. 1

01-02-2020Community - Coleman
Bond Offers New Family Memberships

01-02-2020Community - Coleman
Toss for Charity at Lena Jan. 16

01-02-2020Sports
Lindgren Inducted to NIAAA Hall of Fame

01-02-2020Sports
Gillett Hosts Third Annual Holiday Tournament

01-02-2020Sports
Cougars Repeat as On the Water Champions

01-02-2020Perspectives
From Our Readers

01-02-2020Perspectives
Country Cousin

01-02-2020Perspectives
From My Window

01-02-2020Obituaries
Catherine M. Anderson

01-02-2020Obituaries
Betty M. Brien

01-02-2020Obituaries
Douglas A. Brophy

01-02-2020Obituaries
Richard M. Brown

01-02-2020Obituaries
Mary Lou Bunker

01-02-2020Obituaries
Donald G. Chevalier

01-02-2020Obituaries
Laurene Davidson

01-02-2020Obituaries
Gene W. Dressel

01-02-2020Obituaries
Sister Margaret M. Halbach

01-02-2020Obituaries
Vollie A. Hayward-Good

01-02-2020Obituaries
John V. Henderson

01-02-2020Obituaries
Rick Kahn

01-02-2020Obituaries
Amanda Jo Kesti

01-02-2020Obituaries
Gerry J. Lemsky

01-02-2020Obituaries
Warden E. Lindstrom 

01-02-2020Obituaries
Miles Anthony Mankusky

01-02-2020Obituaries
Soledad Moreno

01-02-2020Obituaries
Francis J. Nemetz Jr.

01-02-2020Obituaries
Lloyd J. Pecore Jr.

01-02-2020Obituaries
Steven W. Philipps

01-02-2020Obituaries
Betty J. Salewsky

01-02-2020Obituaries
Rose M. Schingick

01-02-2020Obituaries
Nancy L. Schroedle

01-02-2020Obituaries
Lynn A. Schwittay

01-02-2020Obituaries
Leroy J. Swenty

01-02-2020Obituaries
Phillip Wenger

01-02-2020Obituaries
Marjorie A. Wickman

12-24-2019Sports
DNR Confirms PFAS-Containing Foam at the Mouth of Starkweather Creek

12-24-2019Sports
Coleman Claims West Allis E. H. Stech Tourney Title

12-24-2019Sports
Crivitz Holds Off Wausaukee; Stops Late Game Comeback

12-24-2019Sports
Wolverines Defeat Rangers

12-24-2019Obituaries
Patricia M. Andersen

12-24-2019Obituaries
Donald Joseph Barker

12-24-2019Obituaries
John B. Barker

12-24-2019Obituaries
Leona F. Belongia

12-24-2019Obituaries
Leo J. Bialkowski

12-24-2019Obituaries
Don G. Chevalier

12-24-2019Obituaries
Jane J. Delveaux

12-24-2019Obituaries
Joseph H. Eastman

12-24-2019Obituaries
Martin E. Fabiszak

12-24-2019Obituaries
Gerald F. Menard

12-24-2019Obituaries
Edna Miller


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think the Green Bay Packers will make it to the Super Bowl?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2020
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites