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Roads and jail Marathon County's top 2014 priorities

Brad Karger
Brad Karger

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- Marathon County taxpayers will not see big changes on the 2014 tax bills. The County Board passed the new budget late last week, and County Administrator Brad Karger says they are not raising the tax rate. “We’re not raising the tax rate at all. It’s 5.17. It’s been 5.17 for the last seven years, so that will stay the same. The two priorities of the budget are funding the infrastructure and staff of the jail.”

One of the big infrastructure costs for 2014 will be new pavement for several miles of county highways. “What happened was the price of oil went up and we kept spending the same amount of money on county roads, and every year we resurfaced less and less, but we realized the price of oil is not likely to go down anytime soon, and our roads are deteriorating, literally just kicking the can down the road. Now we’ve got ourselves up to the pace to where we’re resurfacing our roads to match their expected lifespan.”

Marathon County’s 2014 budget will put about 1.4 million dollars into road resurfacing projects.