Lakewood Trustee Shares Thoughts on Village Board Meeting – Part 1

Ken Santowski

Lakewood Village Trustee Ken Santowski writes up his thoughts on village board meetings and shares them with constituents who are interested.

His thoughts on the last village board meeting follow:

Board update from November 9th, 2010

The meeting this week was about several key issues. The meeting covered

  • Bonds for “a construction project” in Lakewood,
  • repairs to the dam,
  • utilities out to Route 47 and
  • the estimated Tax levy.

Sometimes when I am preparing for these meetings I simply open up the top of my skull, pull out what little brains I have left, fill back up with oatmeal and pretend to know that I know what the heck I am doing.

Tax Levy Considerations

Let’s start with the easy one; the tax levy.

As we all know even in death, we are responsible for taxes. The EAV (equalized assessed value) of the village is not known until March of 2011.

But the estimated tax must be decided prior to that date. So, the village has to provide the county an EAV not to exceed 105% of the previous year.

With the annexations and a few homes built this past year, the village has experienced a growth in its total value, but is expected to experience a 7-10% DECREASE in the EAV, but an inflow of about $25,000 due to the new properties.

Confused yet?

I have been a part of these proceedings for the last 4 years and only have just started to understand those numbers.

Special Service Area Considerations  – Dam Repairs

Along with the tax levy, we had a discussion about the Special Service Areas (SSA’s).

As in the past, SSA#1 has had the most discussion. If you are not sure if you are in an SSA, check your tax bill and look in the line items. SSA#1 covers the lakes area.

Last year the levy for SSA#1 (in Turnberry) as $142,000 which included about $27,000 to buy the Weedo Boat and trailer.

Last year I imagined that this year’s levy would be about $115,000 which included money for dam repairs and lake maintenance, but excluded the money spent for the boat.

The Lakes committee recommended $105,000, staff wanted $125,000.

Several board members want to raise the levy back up to $140,000.

I do not agree with them.

Their justification is that the difference between the $105,000 and the $140,000.00 is only a few dollars.

My question is how many times can we continue to force open our wallets for a few dollars?

Sooner or later, the wallet is empty.

Recently the board had allocated money to get an inspection of the dam, spillway and pad.

t this point the “pad” took front attention.

Two alternatives were presented.

  • Replacement at a cost of $145,000 or
  • repairs for $113,000.

One resident questioned whether either was needed at this point since the spillway and pad are only utilized during heavy rain events. Also he was concerned about the economic impact to residents who would be paying for it. Further discussion to take place during budget talks.

More tomorrow.

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