News Flash

Impacts of Levy Limits

Posted on: March 19, 2019

Village of Blanchardville

Blanchardville

How does the levy limit impact your community's services?  The 2018 net new construction is the first in over 10 years. The Village has had zero to negative growth since the early 2000s. All of the other expenses continue to climb and we cannot keep up. We do not have a full-time police officer are only able to operate on 2 - 3 part-time officers. Our library is limited on hours because we cannot afford full-time hours. The librarian is then also the utility clerk. We have two employees to run the street, water and wastewater departments. We have had to cut back on maintenance for roads until we absolutely cannot afford to due to main breaks and DNR requirements. Because we were not able to keep up on road repairs/replacements; we've had to do three very small projects in the last 5 years.

How does the levy limit impact your community's budgeting practices and finances, eg, your amount of borrowing?  The levy limit impact on our community budgeting practices and finances means we are constantly looking at what we have for savings and drawing that down. We have been trying to pay down debt; but have to look or delay very cost improvements to our community recreation and leisure (Library, Park & Pool) because we already have loans out ot pay for them. Our Fire Department is telling the Board that they have at least one more truck to replace after they have taken out a loan for a new one during 2017. We are drawing down our savings to pay for the small street replacements.

How does the levy limit impact your community's staffing levels and employee compensation?  We have four full time employees and three - four part time employees. One of the full time employees and two of the part time employees are close to retirement. We are probably going to lose one of our part time police officers because we cannot offer full time at a competitive pay. We are only able to pay near the bottom range of any pay salary with minimal increases. With the reporting requirements dictated by the State and Federal government the administrative offices are stretched to their maximum and only has two employees. The Village cannot grow nearly as fast as demand for services and responsibilities grow.

Anything else you'd like to say regarding the impact of levy limits on your community?  We are a very small community within commuting distance to Mt. Horeb, Madison, Verona, Barneveld, Dodgeville and Monroe. As Mt. Horeb, Verona and Barneveld grow; we cannot even begin to prepare for the influx of people who will be looking to Blanchardville for housing. We are small town with small town charm that needs to plan for growth but can't due to levy limits.

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