City discusses possible borrowing

Chilton City Council discussed additional borrowing in regards to the 2023 budget Tuesday evening, Nov. 1.

The discussion, led by City Administrator David DeTroye, was in regards to the city’s long-term debt and ability to borrow and levy more funds in 2023 in order to complete projects. This open-window prior to the Chilton School District borrows approved referendum funds. The city also has the capacity to temporarily raise the levy to fund projects in the city.

At the time of the council meeting, the city was still waiting for the final levy rate from Calumet County and the city’s additional borrowing is dependent on the county.

The topic also comes from the ongoing push from the Kolbe family to help with Nennig Park and other parks in the city. DeTroye said the family has done significant fundraising and the funds raised will help with significant improvements. The family is ready to hand the funds to the city, however, there still would not be enough for the improvements needed for not only Nennig Park but other parks in the city of Chilton as well.

DeTroye said that the additional borrowing needs to be discussed as a funding mechanism and not as a long-term budget constraint. He also said the school district will be raising the rate in 2023/2024 for the referendum funding and that this is another opportunity for the city to obtain funds for upgrades and amenities.

The city can borrow up to $900,000, but DPW Chris Marx believes that $500,000 should be enough. It was also stated that for each $100,000 borrowed for the near-cash financing, the mill rate for the city portion will increase .32 cents per $1,000 of valuation.

There was no action taken with the discussion, but it was pointed out that the discussion took place in advance of the 2023 budget meeting with the hope to avoid amending the budget at the last moment, which happened in a previous year.

In other business discussed during the meeting, Marx said there was a change order to the Irish Road project from Peters Concrete. It was brought forward by Marx that there were significant locations on Irish Road where gravel was visible after the surface of the road was milled off. It was stated that if there is gravel visible, there is not a sufficient base for the top coat. Marx recommended that the city pay the additional funds in the change order received in order to prepare the base of the road before the final coat is applied. The action would then make for a better road and will then last longer. The funds for this action would be taken from the TID 6 account, which the council was told the funds were available in the account.

Also discussed were the bids that were received for the South Madison Street reconstruction project. Out of the 10 bids received, the lowest bid of $295,524 came from Alfson Excavating LLC, owned by Ken Alfson.

The bid was fairly low according to Marx, so he and Rolf Wolf of McMahon Engineering sat with Alfson to meet and discuss the bid.

According to Marx, Alfson Excavating is a local company based in Reedsville and has worked on lead laterals in the city of New Holstein and has done three small lateral, homeowner jobs in Chilton as well. Alfson worked as crew chief to Roshak Builders, which was the number two bid for the South Madison Street project.

The owner, as described by Wolf, is a “jack of all trades” with years of experience. Alfson also has his own paver, directional drilling, is knowledgeable of water and sewer construction and does his own pipe bursting. Alfson has also done smaller diameter projects in Appleton, and Wolf reported the engineer staff, which is known for having exacting standards, had no problems with Alfson.

What helped Alfson gain traction was the plan to pipe burst from the house to the middle of the street, which then cuts subcontractor costs in concrete repair that was included in the other bids received ranging from $20,000-$40,000 for curb replacement and subcontractor costs for pipebursting.

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