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Common Council approves final 2014 city budget
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With no changes or discussion regarding Boscobel’s preliminary 2014 city budget, the Common Council unanimously approved a final version Monday night that calls for an 8 percent decrease in the net tax rate compared to 2013.

“Overall, we came out with (a net city tax of) $965,898 and a net tax rate of $21.11 (per thousand). Last year it was $22.94, so property taxes are down overall,” said City Administrator Arlie Harris.

Even though the city purpose mill rate is up 5.6 percent compared to last year, from $8.10 to $8.55, a dramatic reduction in the Boscobel School District mill rate resulted in the tax savings for city residents. The school district’s mill rate is down 22 percent, from $9.45 to $7.38.

In 2014 a Boscobel homeowner with a house assessed at $100,000 will pay $2,111 in property taxes.

“I think we did a pretty good job,” said Mayor Steve Wetter.

“Taxes are going down,” added Alderman Milt Cashman.

Drug dog

Donations continue to pour in supporting an effort to purchase a drug dog for the Boscobel Police Department. Police Chief Todd Stenner reported to the Council that donations to date toward the effort total $9,235.

“We’re going to have to have at least $15,000 in the fund to made the drug dog operational,” Stenner said, “and we should have no problem raising the money. We’ve had a very positive response from the community.”

Stenner said the Grant County Sheriff’s Department has two K-9 units, one in Boscobel and one in Platteville, but that they are not always available. He described the dog Boscobel is looking to purchase as a “single purpose, narcotics-only” dog.

When asked what the dog’s annual maintenance costs would be, Stenner gave and estimate of $2,000 annually. He said he has already received assurances of food and veterinary donations. He added that one of the department’s squad cars was already set up for a dog so the city won’t have to purchase another squad.