Subscribe for 33¢ / day

TOWN OF FOX LAKE — The choice in the town of Fox Lake is simple: Increase the tax levy or ignore the roads.

That’s why the Fox Lake Town Board is proposing to exceed the state’s tax levy limit by about 35 percent, bringing about $150,000 into the treasury each year and allowing road repairs to catch up after years of delayed maintenance.

A budget hearing is planned Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the town hall, W10543 Highway F.

It is an issue facing most communities in Wisconsin, with some municipalities passing wheel taxes to gather the much-needed funding.

“We have about 36 miles of road in the township and without an increase, we can fix about a half-mile of roads per year,” Ed Benter, town supervisor No. 1, said on Friday. “With $150,000, we can at least get a couple miles done. Instead of upgrading and/or maintaining roads once every 72 years, we can do it every 36 years, which is about half the time we have now — and even that’s not fast enough.”

The budget resolution indicates that the state limit dictates no more than a 2.3 percent increase, bringing in approximately $439,000 per year. By significantly increasing the Department of Public Works budget (from an average of approximately $400,000 per year to just more than $583,000) the road repair program could get back on track according to Benter, who has been active in town government for years and at one time served as the town board chairman.

The town tax levy has been steady at just under $440,000 since 2015, which is the earliest comparison printed in the 2018 budget proposal. The proposed 2018 budget totals $598,975.

No taxy levy (mill) rate is included in the budget that was published as a legal in the Daily Citizen, although tax income is projected to increase nearly 36 percent, as is the town tax levy.

The town board will vote on the budget immediately following the budget hearing at 7 p.m.