By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD — The recommended 2018 budget introduced during the city’s third and final budget meeting on Oct. 30 includes a slightly smaller tax increase than first presented.
As it stands right now, the spending plan comes with a tax rate of $9.20 for every $1,000 of assessed property value. That would be an 8 cent increase over the current tax rate.
The original budget proposal called for a nearly 2 percent increase in the tax rate — to $9.29 per $1,000 of assessed value — but City Administrator Steve Barg told Marshfield Common Council members that general transportation aid from the state came in higher than expected: nearly $130,000.
The council used the opportunity to add $22,000 to maintain the part-time presence of a Wood County drug court counselor in the city of Marshfield so those who need the service would not have to drive to Wisconsin Rapids. Alderman Ed Wagner said the expenditure was well worth it.
“If Marshfield is absolutely serious about doing something about the opioid additions and trying to get people off of it and try to get them back into society as useful citizens, this is a small thing to do in order to help it,” said Wagner.
The council discussed increasing its “rainy day” fund for unforeseen emergencies, but action on that issue was delayed. The 2017 amount was $100,000, and roughly half of those funds remain.
The council also voted to include nearly $7,000 for a full-time crossing guard at the intersection of 11th Street and Lincoln Avenue near Washington Elementary School.
Council members voted unanimously to send the recommended 2018 budget to a public hearing, which is set for Nov. 21 at 6 p.m.