The Village of Elmwood held their regular Board meeting on Monday, December 12. File Photo by Paul J. Seeling
The Village of Elmwood held their regular Board meeting on Monday, December 12. File Photo by Paul J. Seeling

By Katie Chaffee, Gateway News

ELMWOOD, WI – The Board of Trustees of the Village of Elmwood held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, December 12, 2016 at Elmwood Auditorium this is a report of those proceedings for the December 2016 meeting.

Although Village of Elmwood residents will see a slight increase in their property taxes this year, Board President Bill Stewart wants folks to know it is not due to Board budgeting.

Village resident Rick Talford took issue with that statement, saying that it was impossible since the final 2017 village budget adopted in November is up about $6,000 over last year.

Amy Wayne, village clerk and treasurer explained that property taxes collected go to five governmental and educational institutions: the village itself, Pierce County, the State of Wisconsin, Elmwood School District and Chippewa Valley Technical College. Elmwood is the only one of the five taxing entities that can claim a decrease. The county, the state, and the technical college all rose from just under two to nearly four percent.  Elmwood School District was able to keep their increase under one percent.

Because of increases from the other four, Elmwood taxpayers will see their mill rate, or tax per $1,000 of assessed property value, go from $24.38 in 2015 to $24.55 on this year’s property taxes.

New construction in the village has grown the tax base, shared revenues are up and the village got more money in transportation aid from the state, Wayne said, resulting in Elmwood’s share of the tax pie going down one percent even though the budget is up slightly.

“We can’t raise the tax levy more than allowed by construction unless we go to a referendum,” she added.

Referencing his letter to the editor that appeared November 24 in this newspaper, Talford reiterated his claim that the Board was intentionally misleading the public regarding budgeted expenditures.

He cited what had appeared to be a wage increase of $5,000 for Police Chief Michael Schaffer while drastic cuts were being made to the library budget and others in 2015-2016.

Seems a computer glitch printed the larger raise even though the correct 2% increase had been entered and approved by the Board. The correction was made and Talford was informed of this, Wayne said.

In an effort to counter what she called Talford’s “nit-picking and harassment,” Trustee Dolores Radke praised the police department.

“We are proud of our police,” Radke said, noting that they do so much for the village and that they in turn need positive support from residents.

In other business, the board:

  • On the recommendation of the police chief the Board approved operator’s licenses for Diane Baskin, Stefan Rudolph, Colleen Peterson, Samantha Jo Pabst, Lori Lee Holt, and Brenda Bauer, all for Countryside Co-op/Cenex.
  • Schaffer reported 38 incidents involving the police in the past month, including 16 traffic stops, one theft, providing mutual aid to local law enforcement and emergency crews, and a school locker sweep for contraband.