Budget time for area municipalities

Spending plans for 2019 are being finalized

Warren Bluhm, wbluhm@newmedia-wi.com

’Tis the season for local governments to prepare their tax and spending plans for the coming year. Budgets are on numerous agendas during the month of October.

Oconto County is going through a series of meetings that included three days in late September for a department-by-department review of the proposed 2019 budget. A public hearing will be scheduled in late October, and the county board approves the budget at its November meeting.

The board approved budget goals for the year in June, aiming “to adopt a 2019 budget with a minimal increase in tax rate and levy that complies with any state-imposed rate/levy limits as well as fund(s) the essential services that the residents of Oconto County expect.”

The plan projected a 1.5 percent wage and salary increase for county employees, in addition to whatever compensation they gain by progressing a step on the county’s salary schedule.

Oconto Falls has three nights of budget-making this week, in addition to the regular monthly meeting of the City Council on Tuesday. The Utility Budget Committee met Monday, with the council’s Finance Committee scheduled to talk 2019 numbers at 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday in the council chambers at City Hall, 500 N. Chestnut Ave.

The Gillett City Council met Monday night, and 2019 budget review and discussion was on the agenda for the Suring Village Board when it met Tuesday evening for its regular monthly meeting.

Area school boards are also finalizing their tax levies for the 2018-19 school year as the state sets equalized valuations for communities and state aid levels for school districts.