By Gail Peckler-Dziki

The Salem Lakes Village Board held its first budget workshop on Oct. 23. There were about a half dozen residents in attendance.

Salem Lakes still needs to provide two tax bills in 2018 and will not be combined until 2019.

The proposed levy for the former Town of Salem area is $3,572,100, up from $3,510,900 last year, but the mill rate will drop to $3.23 in 2018, a decrease of $0.24 from 2017.

The former Silver Lake area levy is $827,700, up from $821,00 last year.

The new mill rate for the Silver Lake area is $4.947, a minimal increase from the $4.941 the previous year.

Although no decisions were made at this meeting, the board looked at priorities and a possible budget for 2018.

Endless possibilities
Both Village Administrator Pat Casey and Village Engineer Len Roecker of R.A. Smith National gave presentations rife with possibilities.

Roecker described four possible storm water projects in the village, some with possible sanitary sewer rehabilitations involved.

When the storm water projects are underway, it typically requires the road being ripped up and replaced, and that is also the time to make any necessary sewer repairs.

One project under consideration is the intersection of Second Street and North Avenue in the Silver Lake area. The current storm water system in this region pushes all water to Silver Lake.

While it is difficult to get water from this intersection to Silver Lake, Roecker suggested it would work better to move water from this area using a gravity sewer, which will drain into the Fox River. This project is estimated to cost $290,000.

The three other projects were on the original priority list. One is in Sunset Oaks at a cost of $1,740,000, Timber Lake with a cost of $1,470,000 and Camp Lake Gardens at a cost of $952,000. The total for all four projects is about $4.5 million.

Casey is suggesting to the board that this project be rolled in with a roads project and the village bond $9 million for all.

“If you stick with only the $600,000 in the paving budget, we will have to take several years to get these projects completed,” he said.

“Adding them together and bonding for the $9 million will get a much better rate than simply bonding for only the storm water projects.”

Highlights of this proposed budget, in addition to the $9 million bond, include $50,000 for mosquito spraying and treatment for water sources; $28,000 for code enforcement hours, $90,000 for a second Kenosha County Sheriff’s squad car in the village during the summer, along with $99,000 for a full-time deputy fire chief and $23,000 for a new yard waste program.

The board also discussed a park and recreation study to assess needs, which could be followed by a feasibility study for particular projects.

Salem Lakes Trustee Ted Kmiec said he thought the village should offer more support to The Sharing Center in Trevor.

“We had a flood and The Sharing Center was there every day and they are still helping our residents,” Kmiec said.

“We will have another disaster. It could be flood, it could be a tornado. We need to make sure The Sharing Center is there.”

Village president Diann Tesar believes the village could use its own funding mechanism

“We ought to have our own fund. We had to pay $48,000 for garbage pick-up from the flood,” Tesar said.

Casey commented that it would be a good idea to develop a policy and strong parameters for such a fund.

“It should benefit whoever is there,” Casey said. “It could be the Red cross next time.”

Kmiec countered, “We had to wait a long time for the Red Cross to show up. The Sharing Center was there every day.”

Village Trustee Dan Campion agreed with Kmiec.

“We have to make sure we can help ourselves. We got nothing from the county, the state or the feds,” Campion said.

“They kept asking what we needed, and we gave them lists. But in the end, we got nothing from them.”

The meeting ended with a discussion about the costs of a possible regional recreation center.

The next village budget workshop is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. and, if needed, on Monday, Nov. 6.

The budget public hearing is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m., with the adoption of the levy to follow.

The board will hear resident concerns, but there will be no elector vote taken since Salem Lakes is now a village.


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