The approximately $25 million Kewaunee County budget presented on Tuesday drew only praise during the scheduled board meeting. Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt went department by department describing some of the highlights of the budget. Even though the budget size and the tax levy amount went up, taxpayers will likely pay less depending on their property values.
One of the budget's more significant changes is with the corporation counsel, which will become a full-time position in 2023. Before winning his position as a circuit court judge, Jeffrey Wisnicky served a dual role as corporation counsel and human services director. Feldt hopes that once a new corporation counsel is hired and gets a grasp of the position, they can be contracted out to other municipalities.
The county will continue to receive payments from Dominion due to the Kewaunee Power Station closure. The $500,000 has been used in the past to fund loans to Bug Tussel Wireless as they wire the county with broadband and fiber services.
The county’s human services department commands the most significant part of the budget at $6 million, but the staff’s ability to get reimbursed for billable hours has lessened its impact on the tax levy by as much as $60,000. It also contains the budget’s biggest question mark, which sets aside $20,000 a month for two children determined to be under the county’s care.
One of the few questions of the discussion came from Supervisor Aaron Augustian. He asked Feldt why they are paying down an additional $300,000 in debt service ahead of the county’s most considerable expense moving forward: the future jail facility.
Supervisor Gerald Paape praised Feldt and his staff for putting together the budget and making it easy to understand. The Kewaunee County Board will vote to approve the budget at their next meeting. Community members made no comments during the public hearing on the budget preceding the board meeting.