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City budget fails to make waves with public

Common Council will vote on municipal financial plan Nov. 15

Nov. 2, 2011

Wauwatosa residents were a no-show for the public hearing on the proposed 2012 city budget Tuesday.

The Budget Committee has finished its review of the document that calls for no levy increase. For the second year, the tax levy comes to $36.5 million.

The total operating budget is $53.4 million, up 0.8, or a little more than $423,000 higher than in 2011.

The Common Council decided to hold off discussion and action on the proposed budget until Nov. 15.

However, City Administrator James Archambo provided some background on how the budget had reached this point and the impact it will have on the average homeowner.

The owner of an average $242,000 home will pay $141 per month for the city services for 2012.

The city tackled the budget, including a projected $2.6 million budget gap. About $1.2 million in savings was found in changes to the healthcare insurance offerings, and $1 million was found in various city departments, partly via the reduction of 11 full-time positions and a restoration of about $500,000 in state aids.

"We were able to eliminate the 2012 budget gap and shaved more than $3 million off the (previously projected $8 million) five-year budget gap," Archambo said.

There will be no increases in sewer rates for 2012, but there will likely be hikes coming in 2013, he said. The water rate will be reviewed next year and a rate increase could come in late 2012.

Meanwhile, the capital budget remains in discussions and will return to the Budget and Finance Committee next week.

Next step

WHAT: Common Council will take action on the proposed 2012 city operating budget.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15

WHERE: City Hall, 7725 W. North Ave.

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