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Town of Brookfield presents flat-tax budget Tuesday

Nov. 20, 2012

The town of Brookfield's proposed $4.8 million budget for 2013 will be the subject of a public hearing set for 7 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall.

At that meeting, the public will vote on the tax levy of $3.6 million, unchanged since 2009, and a tax rate of 3.56 per $1,000 of assessed value, slightly below this year's 3.57. An owner of a home assessed at $250,000 would receive a town tax bill of $890.

The town also proposes a 2 percent salary increase for its 25 nonunion employees. Union contracts for 18 police officers and 40 firefighters, whose contracts expire at year's end, are currently being negotiated.

Flat taxes

City Administrator Rick Czopp said the changes won't affect the bottom line, noting the virtual flat tax levy and tax rate as in previous years.

"We can keep taxes flat because we are debt-free," Czopp said. "We will still do the things necessary to keep our core services intact."

He said that means replacement and maintenance of police and firefighting vehicles and the addition of a snowplow truck.

Also in 2013, the town will repave Watertown Plank Road from Barker to Springdale under a planned a planned maintenance schedule.

Fire services

The 2013 budget includes changing the assistant fire chief's job from part- to full-time status at an additional cost of $40,000, including benefits.

Supervisors unanimously approved the change on Oct. 2.

Fire Chief Andrew Smerz pointed to three advantages to the change.

"We can have command coverage at all of our incidents," Smerz said. "Even though we have part-time firefighters, we are a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation. We can have coverage into the night shift, which begins at 6 p.m. Also, this will help us with our fire inspection duties."

Czopp said the change in the Fire Department structure is not related to the town's efforts to establish a tax-incremental financing district and the potential of attracting a Von Maur department store as the anchor for a revitalized commercial district.

Though the city of Brookfield has commented that the town needs to add more safety personnel, Czopp said "we are not planning to add any more police or firefighters."

PUBLIC INVITED

WHAT: Public hearing on town budget

WHEN: 7 p.m. Nov. 27

WHERE: Town Hall, 645 N. Janacek Road

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