Between the years 2020 and 2026, the Village of Windsor is expected to borrow an estimated $26,810,000 for a host of proposed capital projects, including $7.615 million in 2020.
Trustee Don Madelung feels it’s time to do them, now that the village’s bond rating “is sky high, and we’ve worked hard to maintain that.”
Madelung also said, “We take a seriously conservative approach. We’re concerned with how we spend money, but it gets to a point where you have to invest in your infrastructure, your roads. There are several projects here to improve Windsor, to improve Windsor lifestyle and quality of life.”
All of the work was laid out at a village board meeting on Monday, Jan. 20, where village officials also discussed financing.
The village anticipates continuing with its annual road improvement program, spending $1 million in 2020, $500,000 in 2022, $1.2 million in 2023, $700,000 in 2025 and $2.1 million in 2026 for a grand total of $5.5 million over that time period.
There are other road projects, however, including $700,000 on work for County Highway DM in 2020. An estimated $1 million Windsor Road project is slated for 2022, with $2 million worth of work on County Highway CV and Lake Road coming in 2023.
2020 is a big year for the village, with Windsor borrowing that $7.615 million for a number of projects through general obligation bonds. Village Administrator Tina Butteris said some of the borrowing actually began in 2019, especially with regard to the new public works building. More is expected in 2020.
“It would be nice if we could get it all done at once,” said Butteris.
The total includes an additional $2 million earmarked for a new public works building going in just off County Road V and $600,000 for a police department moving to a renovated village-owned building on Depot Street. Another $2 million will go for revitalization costs. The two projects together are expected to cost around $4.7 million.
Another $425,000 will go to pay for Windsor’s portion of new fire/EMS equipment, including an ambulance and rescue pumper, and $250,000 for new public works equipment, plus $640,000 for stormwater and water work associated with the County Highway DM project.
No borrowing is anticipated for 2021, but in 2022, along with the planned road projects, another $1 million is expected to be borrowed for park projects. More road work is slated for the following year, along with borrowing $250,000 for renovation of village hall and $86,000 for fire/EMS equipment.
Nothing is arranged as far as borrowing goes for 2024, but some big-ticket items are coming. In 2025 and 2026, the village plans on borrowing $5 million in both years for a total of $10 million for a new municipal campus. Village President Bob Wipperfurth said the plan was to level it out to reduce the impact on taxpayers.
In addition, $359,000 for fire/EMS equipment is expected in 2025 and a combined $2.8 million for annual road improvements over those two years is factored in.
“The list is not getting any smaller, as you can see,” said Philip Cosson, senior municipal advisor/board chair with Ehlers, Inc., who attended the Jan. 20 meeting.
Cosson took Windsor board members and officials through the financial impact of these proposals. He explained why there would be no borrowing in 2021 and 2024, saying that by doubling up on road projects for 2020 and 2022, the village would save general obligation bond issuance costs.
After seeing the net debt service levy drop by $54,075 in 2019 and $1,554 for 2020, the village will see a debt service levy increase of $452,993 in 2021, followed by series of hikes between 2022 and 2030, ranging from a high of $383,724 in 2027 to a low of $69,078 in 2030. Other spikes include $225,026 in 2023, $138,845 in 2024, $144,982 in 2025, $135,620 in 2026, $96,030 in 2028 and $90,000 in 2029. In 2031, a $62,063 drop is expected. The effect on the tax rate depends on the village’s growth. Conservatively, although Windsor has averaged 8-9 percent growth over the last five years, Ehlers opted to use 3 percent growth in projecting the debt service tax rate through 2046.
Ehlers also calculated the tax impact on a $300,000 home in Windsor. After an $81.48 drop in 2019, decreasing from $616.48 in 2018 to $535 in 2019, and a $47.49 cut to $487.11 in 2020, an increase of $120.64 is expected in 2021.
“There was a lot of growth the last couple of years, and you didn’t take on as many projects,” said Cosson. “The benefit was the tax rate for debt was lower, but we see that changing.”
Taxes on that same $300,000 home figure to go up $52.06 in 2022, $43.91 in 2023, $17.32 in 2024, $17.34 in 2025, $13.31 in 2026 and $73.75 in 2027, as totals would be expected to rise from $607.75 in 2021 to $825.45 in 2027, before they would decrease every year between 2028 and 2046, according to Ehlers’ projections. The biggest drop of $159.12 would come in 2033, when taxes on the $300,000 home would fall to $603.54.
All of this hinges on decisions the village makes with regard to its debt service levy and its growth.
“It depends on what you can live with,” said Cosson.
In comparison to other municipalities, Cosson feels Windsor is in good shape. “There are a lot of communities out there with much higher debt profiles than you do,” said Cosson.