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Weston explores options in wake of failed funding referendums


WESTON, Wis. (WSAU) - Weston's finance committee is is recommending moving taxes to utility bills in an effort to balance out next year's budget and could limit bus service as well.  

The finance committee agreed to recommend a plan that would move a number of funding changes to the village's utility districts as opposed to general tax levy. That could cost the average resident $120 dollars a year on their quarterly utility bills.

The move would shift fire protection to a utility and create a transit utility. Village board president Fred Schuster says that will only make up a portion of the projected budget shortfall for next year. The rest will come from fund balance transfers as well as new insurance for employees. "Village workers have taken up a higher cost insurance for them."

In addition, the village may only run 7 runs a day for the new bus service in order to save on operating costs. In a memo released to the press, Administrator Dan Guild says they understand this may open them up to a lawsuit from the groups that pushed for the bus referendum but that the move will allow them to partner with Schofield in order to better provide service to the community. This is only a recommendation at this time, and the board would have to approve it before it moves forward.

More information on the plans will be released at next week's board meeting and the budget hearing that will follow.