City council meets

The following actions were taken during the City of Milton Common Council meeting held Nov. 5:

Levy limit increase adopted, representing $21,767 for fire department in 2020

Council adopted a resolution that allows the city to increase the state imposed 2019 levy limit by $21,767 to be used by the Milton Joint Fire Department to offset increases to its 2020 budget. The fire department adopted a 2020 budget with total expenditures of $1,159,884, an increase of $43,545 over those of last year, according to the resolution.

State statutes allow parties within a joint fire department to make adjustments to the levy limit calculation “to account for the contribution to a joint fire department.” Provisions further state that each party served by the joint department must adopt the same resolution in order to achieve the levy limit exception. The resolution notes that the town of Milton will also adopt the required resolution. Each municipality is responsible for 50% of the increase.

Levy limit 2019 ‘unused carry-forward’ adjustments approved

Council adopted by unanimous vote a resolution allowing for the adjustment of the 2019 tax levy to carry forward unused allowable levies from previous years.

In a memo to council, Finance Director Dan Nelson explained that state statutes allow for the levy adjustment under the following conditions: the current year (2019) has a general obligation debt service tax levy that is less than or equal to that of the proceeding year (2018), and the municipality’s governing body approves the adjustment by a two-thirds vote.

Nelson wrote that the 2020 budget as it has been presented has the allowable adjustment already built in. Making the adjustment would not hinder the city’s ability to qualify for an Expenditure Restraint Program payment in 2021, he noted.

Within the resolution, language stated that the city’s general obligation debt service levy in 2018 was $850,000, which is “less than or equal to” the general obligation debt service levy in 2019. The adjustment to the 2019 levy, as calculated by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, is $40,276. The resolution allows that amount to be carried forward and used in the 2020 budget.

CUP for middle school addition approved

Council approved the issuance of an updated Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the Milton Middle School, 20 East Madison Ave. A CUP is required because schools are listed as a conditional use within the city’s R-2 Zone District, City Administrator Al Hulick wrote in a letter to council.

While a CUP was already on file with the city for the middle school, the 21,839-square-foot expansion, approved in April as part of the school district’s nearly $60 million construction referendum, changed the building’s parameters as described in the CUP on file. Therefore, Hulick noted, a new CUP was required. As part of the process, Hulick wrote, the city’s Plan Commission earlier approved the district’s site plan. The addition will be built on the school’s north side and serve as a first-floor extension. The site plan calls for “additional hard surface access to the rear of the building,” in the form of asphalt, Hulick wrote, but the area is intended for use by fire and emergency services and not for parking, he added. The middle school occupies a lot that includes nearly 10.5 acres, the CUP application states.

Work for the addition comes at an estimated cost of just over $6.6 million and will be performed by JP Cullen, according to the CUP application. Ground breaking is slated for June, Milton school district Director of Buildings and Grounds Stephen Schantz recently told the Milton Courier.

Letter of credit for Red Hawk Farms adjusted

Council approved adjusting the letter of credit held on the city’s behalf during the development of the Red Hawk Farms subdivision’s first addition. Language within an approved resolution notes that pursuant to the developer’s agreement with the city, signed in April, a letter of credit held to protect the city from potential costs would the developer not fulfill the requirements of the agreement, “may be released” as the requirements are fulfilled.

The project’s developer is Janesville-based Forester Construction, LLC.

The resolution states that the city engineer had inspected the agreed upon improvements made by the developer and determined that the letter of credit could be reduced by $144,734, leaving in retention $95,120, which represents the amount of improvements that have not yet been completed.

Improvements within the subdivision’s first addition left to be completed are comprised largely of sidewalk installation and restoration, according to an “engineer’s estimate” spreadsheet provided to council.

Residential Exterior Improvement grant ‘close out’ approved

Council approved documents to officially “close out” the process for a grant in the amount of $1,490 given to Paul McMurray for use at 160 West Madison Ave. The grant was approved in April as part of the city’s Residential Exterior Improvement program. Grant monies were applied to an exterior painting project, with a total cost of $2,980. Forms declaring the work completed were signed Oct. 27.

Certified survey map along Bowers Lake Road approved

Council approved a three-lot extraterritorial certified survey map (CSM) along North Bowers Lake Road, town of Milton. Proposed land divisions occurring within one and one-half miles of the city limits come under review from the city as part of an “extraterritorial plat review” provision in the law, according to a memo to council from City Administrator Al Hulick. The approved CSM calls for the subdivision of 36.7 acres of undeveloped land that, according to the memo, is “predominately covered in water.” The CSM would allow the landowner to create three developable lots. The new lots carry A-3 zoning designations. Lot sizes are: Lot 1: 4.7 acres; Lot 2: 26.6 acres, and Lot 3: 5.4 acres.

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