Three out of four towns have renewed Milton Fire Department contracts that include increases ranging from 170% to 209%. One, the town of Koshkonong, is yet to be determined.
Starting with the 2021 budget, contributions from municipalities are based on equalized value and factor in how much of the municipality is covered by the Milton Fire Department.
None of the contracted towns is covered entirely by the Milton Fire Department. About 80% of Harmony is covered by the Milton Fire Department, 74% of Johnstown, 40% of Lima and 5% of Koshkonong.
The 2021 budget includes a $152,238 (208.77%) increase for the town of Harmony, a $25,481 (169.59%) increase for the town of Lima, an $11,642 (142.36%) increase for the town of Koshkonong and a $31,884 (115.20%) increase for the town of Johnstown.
Looking at the joint owners of the fire department, the city of Milton will have a $24,989 (6.38%) increase while the town of Milton will have a $55,118 (14.08%) decrease.
For financial planning, commission member Bryan Meyer on Dec. 9 said the commission should assume Koshkonong is out for the time being.
In the town of Koshkonong, the Milton Fire Department covers Bingham Point and Thiebeau Point.
A memo from city of Milton Finance Director/Treasurer Dan Nelson said the town of Koshkonong advised it could receive coverage of the Bingham Point area from Fort Atkinson Fire Department at a cost of $3,300.
That would leave Thiebeau Point.
The Koshkonong Town Board asked what the cost would be to have Milton cover Thiebeau Point. Based on equalized value, the memo states the amount would be $1,728. The commission could also establish a minimum charge to provide service to a municipality or decide not to provide coverage.
The commission took no action on the town of Koshkonong contract Dec. 9 and voted to wait until later in 2021 to see how the year progresses from a financial perspective to determine how to address a potential $19,820 or $18,092 shortfall.
The commission will review all town contracts in August 2021, earlier than they did this year.
If Koshkonong does not renew its contract, commission member Bill Wilson said the town of Milton and city of Milton will absorb that cost.
“If timing were different, we’d be going back and refiguring the allocations,” Wilson said, but Harmony, Lima and Johnson have signed contracts.