Mukwa votes to raise road levy
Town’s mill rate increased to $1.94
By John Faucher
Town of Mukwa electors approved a measure authorizing the town board to exceed the state levy limit by 95 percent, in order to pay for road construction and maintenance.
The measure passed by a vote of 103-81 at a special town meeting held Wednesday, Oct. 21. The vote allows the town board to increase the budget by $199,969 over the 2015 levy.
The new property tax rate is $1.94 per $1,000 of assessed value, a 95-cent increase over last year.
The impact on a $200,000 home is approximately $180 in higher taxes.
The board approved a proposed total budget of $616,067 at its annual budget meeting, which reflects the increase in the town’s road construction and maintenance budget for next year.
The road budget increased from $158,992 in 2015, to $355,729 for 2016.
Town Chairperson Jim Curns said that in the past the town typically budgeted around $150,000 to $180,000 per year for roads. He noted the increased costs for maintenance were not keeping up with revenue limits imposed by the state over the past decade.
At the current funding level, the town could replace roughly one-half mile of road per year. The town has 42.5 miles of road, which put them at an 85-year replacement cycle.
“The goal is to be able to both properly maintain, and then replace roads at a 30 year cycle,” Curns said prior to the Oct. 21 meeting. “That could add up to be a substantial amount of money to bring the town roads up to a better standard after years of under spending.”
The additional $196,737 for roads would allow the town to pave approximately one additional mile of road per year to get them back on a more realistic replacement cycle.
Property owners will notice the increase on their property tax bill this December.