Mistakes can happen when you manage a budget worth tens of millions of dollars. Merrill's Finance Director apparently made a few calculation errors that led to many upset people. The city is now working to make sure confusion and calls for resignations don't happen again.
Tuesday night at a Committee of the Whole meeting a financial consultant came in to explain more about taxation and how Tax Incremental Districts (TIDs) affect a budget.
Finance Director Kathy Unertl says many factors contributed to the misestimated tax rate, but one of the biggest factors was her self-described "inadequate assessment" of how TIDs worked within the budget.
"I was using assessed value TID in instead of assessed value TID out in my calculations," said Unertl.
Another factor was that Merrill lost about $11 million in property value when a reassessment happened in 2016. All of that caused the rate to go up, but not the amount the city was collecting.
"We told them a wrong percentage," said Merrill Mayor Derek Woellner. "So Tim [Meehean] is saying we aren't charging more because the budget we approved was for the same amount, we just gave the wrong percentage to expect."
Members of the public also had an opportunity to ask their own budget questions so they could also further their understanding.
Unertl proposed a new way of displaying the city budget next year in the hopes that a similar mistake can be avoided with the future. Woellner said he feels optimistic about next year's budget process.
BIRON, WIS. - A nearly $200 million paper mill project in Wood County will get state support while helping to create more than two dozen jobs.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) announced $1.7 million in tax credits Wednesday for ND Paper in Biron, which is just north of Wisconsin Rapids.
ND Paper plans to convert a machine from making white paper into corrugated material for boxes. The company will also build a recycled pulp, water treatment, and fiber recovery plants. The total cost of the project is $189 million.
NORTHWOODS - Jeff Schweizer doesn't need electricity to camp, but he knows it's a great convenience.
"If it's raining out you got the TV, you got the microwave," said Schweizer.
He and his group of friends used their generators Tuesday night because Franklin Lake Campground in Forest Co. doesn't have direct electrical access.
"Generators make a lot of noise," said Schweizer. "It's nice to have it quiet. When you have electricity you don't have those generators. It's just really enjoyable to be at a campground with electricity."
MADISON - Wisconsin-based convenience store chain Kwik Trip has removed some vegetable trays from its stores after several reported illnesses in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Health officials say the Del Monte vegetable trays, which included broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and dill dip, have been linked to salmonella bacteria. So far, it has sickened three people in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota. Symptoms of salmonellosis are similar to the flu.
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