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Hillsboro tax levy increases only one percent
The city will lose $3,360 in state aid, and general fund revenues are down $3,427 in new budget
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The Hillsboro City Council had some very good news for its citizens at it regular monthly meeting Monday night.

Due to one of the leanest budgets in recent history, the overall tax levy for 2014 will be $445,622, an increase of only $4,570 which is 1.04 per cent.

The mill rate will be $9.42 per $1,000 in property valuation.

State aid totaled $487,031 (General) and $71,501 (Transportation), a total aid decrease of $3,360.

The total General Fund Revenues are $1,245,427 (2014) and $1,248,854 (2013) for a total decrease of $3,427.

Departmental Expenditures were:

• Culture/Recreation - $733 increase

• City Hall/General Government -  $$1,407 increase

• Public Works - $23,195 increase

• Police Department - $28,985 increase

The five largest line items were Police Wages, $103,332; Public Works wages, $86,351; Street Projects, $74,130; Debt Principal, $71,094; Library Expense, $65,500.

The Council, with the exception of Mark Lankey and Pat Moen who were absent, approved the budget and levy after a public hearing.

Mayor Greg Kubarski stated after the vote, “It’s a very tight budget, the tightest I can remember!”

Other important facts pertaining to the budget included:

• A major budget elimination of the Whitehall Specialties incentives for job creation;

• Health Insurance increase of 8.8 percent;

• Purchases of police vehicle, salt shed roof, GIS, snow truck and plow.

Earlier in the meeting, engineer representatives from Mid-States Associates presented a report on future decisions the city will have to make pertaining to the phosphorous content of local waste water and government regulations.

Among other information told to the Council included the fact that new permits will be announced January 1, 2015, with five years given for compliance.

In other action, the Council unanimously approved:

• A resolution listing special charges to Property Tax Bills  after a Public Hearing.

• A driveway permit for 532 Water Ave.;

• A a new Animal Care Provider Agreement for lost or stray dogs and cats with the Vernon County Humane Society in Viroqua. If a pet is lost, that shelter is a good place to check, because Police Officers will take them there for care.

• An update in 2014 user fees.

• A resolution establishing 2014 Health Reimbursement Arrangement Account amounts for city employees.

Before the meeting was officially closed, Police Chief Tom Richardson and Mayor Kubarski announced that the annual winter parking ordinance had gone into effect Nov. 1 and discussed some of the rules.

Parking is determined by the date and the house number. If the date after midnight is even, park on the street’s even side; if the date is odd, park on its odd side.

Winter parking hours are from 12-5 a.m. in the residential district, and 2-6 a.m. in the commercial area.

Richardson and Kubarski encourage residents to use off-street parking, especially when heavy snow is forecast, so city crews can clear streets.

–H.S.  Leverenz contributed to this report.