Cambridge’s Audit and Finance Committee has made some additional changes to its 2020 vlllage budget proposal in advance of a Nov. 26 public hearing and finalization.
On Oct. 28, the committee approved a 2020 budget summary that was published in the Nov. 7 Cambridge News and Deerfield Independent.
However, on Nov. 5, the committee met once again, notably making changes to its fire and EMS spending and its contribution to the McFarland Senior Outreach program for senior meals and other services it provides to older Cambridge residents.
Village Clerk/Treasurer/Administrator Lisa Moen said the budget summary won’t be reprinted in the newspaper.
The total proposed 2020 village budget amounts to about $1 million. Deputy Village Clerk/Treasurer/Administrator Barbara Goeckner noted that number is still subject to change until the Village Board adopts its final budget.
A public hearing on the proposed 2020 budget has been set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, at the Amundson Community Center. The Village Board is expected to adopt the budget and set the tax levy that night.
Fire and EMS
On Nov. 5, the committee adjusted its contribution to the Cambridge Community Fire and EMS Commission, deciding to contribute only to local fire and EMS operating costs for 2020. Goeckner said the Audit and Finance Committee voted on Nov. 5 to not contribute $100,000 that the Cambridge Community Fire and EMS Commission has collectively requested from area communities, for reserves.
“We cannot levy for a savings account,” when the village is considering cutting back in other budget areas in 2020, including public works equipment purchases, Moen said.
Moen also said changes to how the village plans to contribute to EMS and fire in 2020 ensure that it qualifies for the state of Wisconsin’s municipal expenditure restraint program, which has annually brought in about $25,000.
The village is one of five municipalities that fund the Cambridge Community Fire and EMS Commission, that operates fire and EMS services, with the apportioning based on each municipality’s equalized value.
The approximate equalized value breakdown is 25 percent for Cambridge, 49 percent for the Town of Oakland, 20 percent for the Town of Christiana, 3.5 percent for the Town of Lake Mills and 2.5 percent for the Village of Rockdale.
The $169,000 the commission has requested from Cambridge in 2020 amounts to about a 19 percent increase over $142,000 requested from the village in 2019.
If Cambridge does not help fund a portion of the $100,000 the commission is seeking to put in its reserves, the village would owe only about $144,000 for fire and EMS in 2020, Goeckner said. That would amount to about a 1.4 percent increase over the $142,000 the village gave in 2019, Geockner has calculated.
In all, the share of the budget funded by the five municipalities in the Fire and EMS Commission’s 2020 budget, adopted Oct. 9, amounts to about $677,506, up 15.45 percent from $572,798 in 2019.
The fire and EMS commission’s total budget, with additional revenue coming from other sources, amounts to about $888,000, up 6.7 percent from $832,000 in 2019.
Goeckner said after hearing from a concerned Cambridge resident, the Audit and Finance Committee restored about $850 to continue to repair the water element of a fountain at Main Street and Water Street. The committee had earlier proposed removing the water element from the fountain to eliminate that annual upkeep cost.
The committee also on Nov. 5 voted to fully fund a request from McFarland to cover senior meals and outreach programs in 2020. The committee had voted on Oct. 28 to give McFarland Senior Outreach $20,000 in 2020, less than the $23,045 it has requested to coordinator twice-weekly meals for senior citizens and to provide outreach services to seniors.
Cambridge contributed about $6,000 in 2019. The McFarland Village Board has requested the increase in 2020 to help it cover the cost of administering the programs.