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Rib Lake Village Board reviews proposed 2020 budget



The Rib Lake Village Board at its October 9 meeting reviewed the proposed 2020 budget worksheet and approved publishing the budget summary.

General government expenses increased by $744 over this year’s budget to $125,691. The public works budget was increased $822 to $188,175. Spending for culture and recreation was increased $190 to $53,225. There is a $6,775 increase in employee benefits and insurance (to $134,500) in the proposed budget.

Village president Bill Schreiner said the village did not pay into the retirement account for the two previous police officers, but had to add $6,000 to the budget for Derek Beckstrand’s retirement. Expenditures for capital outlay decreased by $9,000 (to $81,000) as the village budgeted $5,000 less for general government buildings and $4,000 less for street projects. Village president Bill Schreiner said Impact Seven was no longer making a payment in lieu of taxes to the village and $5,000 was transferred from the capital outlay account to other parts of the budget to make up the shortfall. Spending for public safety and health and human services remained the same at $144,514 and $7,500 respectively.

Total expenditures for 2020 comes to $722,997, down slightly from last year’s 723,470. Total receipts are also down slightly, from $529,201 to $527,867, resulting in a levy of $195,130, less than a .5 percent increase over last year’s levy of $194,269.

Trustee Russ Bullis asked village clerk Dawn Swenson if she had heard what health insurance premiums were going to be next year. Swenson replied she hadn’t but said she was told by the insurance agent to expect a 6 to 10 percent increase. Swenson said the board shouldn’t have to adjust the proposed budget. She explained the village had budgeted for former police chief Gary Krueger and his two sons to be on the village’s health insurance, but later found out Krueger’s ex-wife had put the sons under her health insurance. Swenson said Krueger then had his stroke and for most of the year wasn’t on the village’s health insurance plan. She said there should be enough leftover money in the budget to cover the expected premium increase. Bullis added Beckstrand’s young age should result in a lower premium for him. Swenson agreed.

A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held during the board’s November meeting.

The board approved a request from the Rib Lake Fire Department for a $25,000 municipal loan through the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands.

Bullis said the fire department cannot borrow money and that it has to be done through a municipality. He said the department currently does not have the means of refilling air bottles for the firemen’s air packs and the money would be used to purchase the necessary equipment, as well as additional air bottles. Bullis said the department had been raising money for the purchase, noting the Rib Lake Lions and Rib Lake Fish and Game had each donated $5,000, but the department was still short of what was needed.

Bullis said the fire department would pay the village which would then pay the loan. Schreiner asked how long of a loan was the department looking at. Bullis said they were waiting for quotes for a three-, five- and seven- year loan to see what the schedule would be for payments. He added since the loan would be through the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, 90 percent of interest comes back to the local schools libraries. Bullis finished up by saying the fire department would pay the entire loan and there would be no cost to the village.

Schreiner asked if the fire department would have trouble raising the money. Bullis said no, adding that the department had raised more money during Ice Age Days this past August than in previous years on the Hunter’s Ball and Ice Age Days combined. “We’re having great support from the community.”

Swenson asked if the department would get the loan in this budget year or would it be after January 1. Bullis said it would be in this budget year because the equipment has to be purchased by the end of the year. Swenson said it would be tight with the budget because the loan would have to be a general obligation item that the village has to have within its budget. Swenson asked if the loan application could be completed by the board’s next meeting, noting they would have to make the change to the budget before it is published and approved at that meeting. Bullis said they could have the application done before then.

Schreiner asked if the payment was annual. Bullis said it was, due on March 15 of each year. Swenson asked if the loan is approved this year, would the department have to make a loan payment this coming March or would it be the following March? Bullis said he didn’t know, looking over the loan application request form. Trustee Cliff Mann, also looking over the form, read aloud from a paragraph stating loans funded between September 1 and March 14 did not have a payment scheduled for the following March 15.

“So we don’t need to get it in this year’s budget,” Swenson said.

“No,” replied Bullis.

The board approved a quote of $6,600 from Lag Construction of Medford to replace the three windows on the north side of the city hall/library building. The project involves removing the glass blocks, reducing the size of each opening and installing a 4 foot by 2 foot stationary panel energy-efficient window. Schreiner asked if the project would be done next spring. Trustee Jack Buksa said Lag thought it could get the project done this fall.