Road resurfacing projects drive 15-cent increase

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

The Twin Lakes Village Board unanimously approved a 15-cent property tax rate hike at its regular meeting Nov. 16.

Village officials said the increase is needed, citing road resurfacing projects and rising operational costs.

Residents will pay $5.14 per $1,000 of assessed value for their 2016 tax bills, compared to $4.99 in 2015.

Village Administrator Jennifer Frederick said the village opted to apply road resurfacing to the $3.6 million tax levy, instead of continuous borrowing for road resurfacing projects.

“The Village Board wanted to levy an addition for street resurfacing, so we do not have to borrow for roads,” Frederick said. “It would probably be a big ticket item, about 30 per parcel.”

Road resurfacing projects, which will impact 33 miles of village roads, are anticipated to cost approximately $200,000 annually, according to the 49-page budget released by the village.

Frederick said the resurfacing program allows the village to undertake a significant road project every three years.

Despite the rise in tax rate, the village’s assessed value jumped 1.3 percent, but was offset due to a 1.7 percent increase of general operation expenses, excluding capital expenses, sanitation, launch/marina, sewer and a tax incremental finance district.

While there was an increase in overall expenditures, sewer and garbage/recycling rates will be unchanged entering next year.

The total tax levy is $3.6 million, an increase of $151,149 from last year.


Clerk to retire

When Cathy Richardson retires as the village clerk following 23 years of service Jan. 6, Julie Harms will step in to replace Richardson the board decided in a unanimous vote.

Harms, currently the deputy clerk, has been employed by the village for four years.

“It is a natural progression and I thought that she has gone above and beyond for us,” Frederick said.


Address signs revisited

In response to concerns related to locating addresses in emergencies, the village board revisited uniform address signs for every property in the village.

“Safety-wise, the police department was the driving force behind it, so they can find addresses,” said board President Howard Skinner.

Skinner noted some areas of the village are difficult to locate.

While no action was taken, including how to bill property owners for the signs, the village selected a three-level format for the signs.

“We are just in the beginning stages, we got a couple quotes, we just need to figure out the exact number,” Frederick said.

Determining the cost is the next step for the village, she added.

The board approved the following items in the omnibus agenda:

  • Professional services agreement with Town and Country Engineering, Inc.
  • Twin Runners Snowmobile Club’s request to allow access through Legion Park.
  • The resignation of Russ Say from the Board of Review.

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