City mill rate decreases in 2022

PRESCOTT – At the regular Monday, Nov. 22 Prescott City Council meeting, the council approved all 2022 budgets, adopted a revised stormwater charge and provided notice of the upcoming spring election and which offices are open.

The city’s newly approved mil rate of $24.05 is 11 cents less than last year. This means that a home valued in the $230,000 range will see a decrease of around $112 on the city portion of its property tax bill, while a home ranging around $450,000 will see a decrease of about $140.

“In general, this is good news,” said Treasurer Beth Lansing. Aside from the discussion on the overall budget, the council approved other resolutions related to the budget, such as enterprise funds which go toward sewers and storm drains, the special revenue funds which include the library, Freedom Park and cable TV, the debt service fund and the salary schedule for city employees.

The municipal property tax base levy for 2021, collectable in 2022, is $1,411,736 for general fund purposes; $393,479 for debt service; $208,981 for library special revenue fund purposes; $26,598 for Freedom Park special revenue fund purposes $326,070 for capital project fund services. The General Fund budget for 2022 is $3,100,129.

Salaries for city employees will increase by 3%

•City administrator: $92,000 in 2021; $94,760 in 2022 (annually) •Police chief: $86,677.12 in 2021; $89,277.45 in 2022 (annually) •Public works superintendent: $79,847.50 in 2021; $87,550 in 2022 (9.5% increase annually)

•City clerk: $33.03 per hour to $34.02 per hour

•Deputy clerk/treasurer: $32.03 per hour to $32.99 per hour

•Full-time police administrative assistant: $20.77 per hour to $21.39 per hour

•Court clerk: $20.77 per hour to $21.39 per hour

•Accounting clerk: $20.77 per hour to $21.39 per hour

•Election inspectors: $9.39 per hour to $9.67 per hour

•Public works (full-time base and part-time base): $28.79 per hour to $29.65 per hour

•Parks seasonal: $13.46 per hour to $13.86 per hour

•Lead mower: $13.46 per hour to $13.86 per hour More information and in-depth details about the 2022 budget are available on the city’s website for anyone who would like to access that information.

Stormwater charge A new stormwater charge has been revised and adopted, with a $1 increase which will help raise the annual fund and will be used to pay for repairs of aging infrastructure. For residential accounts, $1 will be added each billing cycle, which will come to a $4 increase per year.

For commercial buildings, the increase will be slightly larger. The increase will still only be an added dollar but the differences will come out differently than past years. During the Public Works Committee where this was discussed, the committee requested to see how this would affect the larger commercial sites.

For the largest commercial and industrial customer, UNFI, there will be a $211 difference. More businesses were listed in the council’s agenda packet which is available online.

Other business Lisa Johnson submitted an application for the Police Commission. The application is up for consideration during the next week by council members before they can appoint Johnson. In her application she notes that, “I know the Prescott community well through work and volunteering and I am in many organizations in Prescott.”

The council announced a Coulee River Trails workshop meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Dec. 7 and is open to the public. The progress and future plans for this project will be discussed.

During the meeting the council also gave notice of the spring election. Three offices are up for election: Mayor, Alderperson for Ward 1 and Alderperson for Ward 2. The first day to circulate nomination papers is Dec. 1 and the final day for filing nomination papers is Jan. 4 2022. If a primary election is necessary, it will be held on Feb. 14, 2022.

For information about the elections, the council encourages anyone to contact City Hall or visit their website.

Among the many events chronicled by local resident Mary Beeler for the paper is one of a unique ‘no parking’ sign from the Prescott Journal of November 5, 1981. It seems that then City of Prescott Street Superintendent Bob Struve came up with the creative way to say ‘no parking’ on a Prescott street, until the bolts for the sign were removed and the sign no longer ‘there.’ Police speculation at the time placed it as likely being “in someone’s bedroom,” although a replacement for such sign wouldn’t cost much – assuming it stays around this time. Image sourced from UW-River Falls Archive and Research Center.

November 23, 2021