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Village Board approves 2009 budget by 5-1 vote

ELLSWORTH -- With just one dissenting vote, the Village Board approved Ellsworth's 2009 budget Monday.

Trustee Dave Deiss cast the lone no vote. He said before the meeting the village should not raise the tax levy by 2 percent due to the economy, which is now officially in recession.

The debate centered on the reserve fund. The overwhelming majority of board members felt, as Village President Gerald DeWolfe does, that maintaining such a fund with a large amount is good planning and diligence.

"You never know when you're going to need that money," DeWolfe said in a recent interview. "If we had a storm hit the village and we needed money for cleanup, then it's available. If our state aids get cut and it blows a hole in our budget, then we have money to fill it. I think prudence demands that, after dipping into that fund the past few years with the tax levy frozen, we need to replenish it."

In other budget action, the board approved committee recommendations to buy a motor grader at $70,726 with a trade-in and approved bids for two old police cars, $225 for a Ford Escort to Dorance Halvorson and $1,550 to Brian Bryse for a Chevrolet Impala.