Weather Forecast


Deiss disagrees with proposed levy increase

ELLSWORTH -- The Village Board got a preview of Ellsworth's 2009 budget Monday. The Finance, Purchasing and Buildings Committee is recommending a levy increase of 2 percent.

Committee Member Dave Deiss questions the plan, saying, "With unemployment going up and wages being frozen, I just don't think it is the right time to propose a levy increase," Deiss said in an interview Tuesday. He missed Monday's Village Board meeting.

"The board has voluntarily frozen the levy limit for the past two years and I can understand that you can't keep that frozen forever or you fall behind when you consider that requests for village services stay the same or go up, even in hard economic times. I understand my colleagues' concerns about the fiscal health of the village and I can see why they would support such an increase. They feel they're acting in the best interests of the village.

"I just happen to disagree with it, given the present circumstances with the economy."

In budget-related items, the board unanimously approved non-union employee salary hikes:

• The police chief will receive a 3 percent raise, earning $58,209.77.

• Police administrative support is up $1 to $16.69 per hour.

• The starting salary of the part-time police officers is now at $12.29, up from $11.93 with no changes to one-year or three-year hourly salaries ($13.13 and $13.69,).

• In the Village Hall, the hourly salary of the office assistant is up $1 to $16.78 and the salary of the clerk/treasurer is $54,024.43, up 3 percent.

• In the Public Works Department, the zoning administrator also received a 3 percent raise to $62,328.67. The hourly pay at demolition site is $11, up 50 cents; for snow hauling is $13, up 50 cents; and mowing, skating rink and shoveling, $9 with a 50 cent increase each year.