Sunday, August 14, 2011
Adding Up the Budget Numbers in the Fox Valley
School districts, municipalities face difficult choices as they look to balance budgets in the aftermath of sweeping changes in state funding. (Appleton Post-Crescent, 8/14/2011)
 "We have a long seven weeks ahead of us to achieve a balanced budget proposal to present to the (city) council by the deadline of October 5th," Lisa Remiker, the [City of Appleton] finance director, said in an email. "I believe our directors and their departments will step up to the challenge and we will play the best hand we can from the cards dealt us."
 "The governor and the Legislature have been very misleading on this issue," [Outagamie County Executive Tom] Nelson said. "We're not seeing new funding. This is money that they are reshuffling. They are taking money from one county and giving it to another to keep service at a certain level."
 But in Calumet County, finance director Dan DeBonis said his county will see a net gain of $190,000, thanks to the state changes. "What's helping us is all of our union contracts are expiring this year so we get to realize the pension benefits in full for 2012," he said.
 And in Waupaca County, if you look just at state shared revenue cuts and savings from pension and health care changes, the county would see a net gain of $400,000, said finance director Heidi Dombrowski. But she said that calculation doesn't include cuts to other state grants and programs "(A net gain) truly is not the case," she said. "It is by far much more difficult than that. And until we get through our budget process and through the entire state budget, with all the other cuts that are within that budget, we won't know what the effect will be. Most likely it will not be a net gain at all and will be a net loss."
Other county and municipal budget news.
Sauk County officials ask for input. (8/12/2011
Marathon County ranks services to address $500,000 budget shortfall. (8/12/2011)
City of Beloit faces a challenging budget process. (8/8/2011)
Fond du Lac city manager sez Governor's tools not enough to offset cuts. (8/2/2011)
Manitowoc mayor asks department heads for 10% budget cuts. (8/2/2011)