City budget on track for 2021

Common Council meeting brief

Screenshot+of+the+Common+Council+meeting.

Screenshot of the Common Council meeting.

Ben Yang, Journalist

The Whitewater Common Council met Thursday, Nov. 5 to receive updates about the 2021 city budget from council members and to discuss updates from the District Administrator Caroline Pate-Hefty of the Whitewater Unified School District (WUSD).

Whitewater City Manager Cameron Clapper and Finance Director Steve Hatton spoke about the 2021 city budget briefing during the meeting, covering the tax breakdowns, guiding principles and goals for the balanced 2021 budget. The proposed 2021 general fund budget is about $9.6 million, which is a decrease of 2.4 percent compared to the previous year.

City levy impact was also discussed during the meeting. Depending on home value, the mill rate for the 2021 city property tax per one thousand dollars is $6.57 for property owners in Walworth County and $6.55 for those in Jefferson County.

“The mill rate per thousand dollars being 12 cents for Walworth County and 11 cents for Jefferson County, the range then, is a little over $17 to $41 in Walworth County and $17 to just under $40 for Jefferson County,” said Clapper.

Hatton spoke about the 2021 general fund revenues. This topic is usually included to help demonstrate where the city is reliant for different sources of funding.

“For 2021, the biggest source of our funding will come from intergovernmental revenues. The second largest source is the property tax levy. It will account for 42 percent of our total general fund revenue next year,” said Hatton.

In the beginning of the meeting, the council members discussed the 2020 Presidential Election and Whitewater’s participation in the election. The council members reported that over 5,000 ballots in the community were cast in the election on election day.

Pate-Hefty came to the meeting to discuss what has been happening in the Whitewater school district during the past few months. Many awards were given to multiple Whitewater schools and individuals including the Jerry Awards given to Whitewater High School’s production of “The Little Mermaid. A gym dedication also took place at the Whitewater Middle School for boy’s basketball head coach Ken Nehring. The Whitewater Unites Lives (WUL) Hometown Hero Award was given to WUSD food services supervisor Lisa Griep and her team for planning and assembling thousands of meals for students during the pandemic. 

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Artanya Wesley and Police Chief Matthew Kiederlen were also present at the meeting to report free COVID-19 testing on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus. Kiederlen reported that the Williams Center will host free antigen rapid testing for everyone who is five years of age or older. An online pre-registration will be needed to partake in the testing which can be found on the Warhawks Return webpage. There will not be a drive-through for the testing, but parking lots seven and nine will be open.

For more information about the Nov. 5 Common Council meeting visit https://www.whitewater-wi.gov/AgendaCenter/Common-Council-6.

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