Capital projects scrutinized by Thiensville officials

Village manager plans to remain debt free

Oct. 2, 2012

Thiensville - After months of preparation by staff members, elected officials are about to start the heavy lifting and delve into piecing together the village's 2013 budget.

As a precursor to discussing the components of next year's budget, Thiensville Village Administrator Dianne Robertson provided the Village Board with an overview of the capital expenditures budget for 2012 and beyond at a meeting Monday.

Despite fiscal constraints, the village has been staying debt free, and Robertson said she aims to maintain the status into the future with careful, methodical planning.

"We like to create reserves in the general budget and set aside money for future capital projects," Robertson said.

Robertson has maintained a policy of going over each expenditure, line item by line item, and inputting the amount of money being earmarked for a particular purchase or project. This prevents the need to take out bonds for borrowing.

"The auditors review this to see that we have a plan in place," Robertson said.

As with all municipalities, Thiensville's books are reviewed annually by an independent accounting firm - a stipulation that is required under state law.

With several projects coming to fruition in the years ahead, Robertson reviewed some of the dollar figures that have been set aside. Some of the larger scale projects on the horizon in the village include reconstruction along Green Bay Road and Main Street.

But there are other ongoing, routine purchases that are built into the capital expenditures list on an annual basis. Items include squad car replacements, efforts to remediate emerald ash borer and replacement equipment for the fire department.

Director of Public Works Andy LaFond came before the board Monday with a more pressing capital spending request. The village's gas tank and reader system is in need of repair, based on its current condition, and LaFond discussed options with the board Monday.

The board had set aside $64,000 toward addressing the gas tank in the village's 2012 budget, though LaFond is only requesting $19,000 to repair it.

However, the board discussed several philosophical questions concerning the expenditure, and LaFond said he would collaborate with neighboring municipalities, including Mequon, and explore purchasing gas and diesel from an outside source.

Trustee John Treffert said he favors a preliminary exploration of the proposal.

"I'd like to see us getting out of the gas storage business," Treffert said.

Village President Van Mobley said he is open to hearing more about other options beyond maintaining a gas tank.

"I can see a number of different ways to look at it," Mobley said.

With the existing capital expenditures having been reviewed, board members will meet with department heads Monday and discuss some of the more finite details of Thiensville's 2013 budget.


WHO:Thiensville Village Board, department heads

WHAT: preliminary discussion of village's 2013 budget

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Monday

WHERE: Village Hall, 250 Elm St., Thiensville


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