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Pewaukee Village shoots down street utility district

Village of Pewaukee – The potential merger of the village and City of Pewaukee appears to be dead as the Village Board tonight rejected the creation of a street utility district, a key component in advancing the consolidation of the two communities.

On a 3-4 vote, the board rejected a motion to create the street utility district (SUD), which would have paved the way for the two communities to have different tax rates until such time the rate would be blended into one rate.

Voting against the ordinance establishing the SUD were Trustees Tom Calder, Cathy Baumann and Paul Evert along with Village President Jeff Knutson. Voting for the creation of the district were Trustees Joe Zompa, Steve Ebling and John Laimon.

The board did vote to approve the consolidation ordinance on a 6-1 vote, with Laimon voting no.

However, the board amended the ordinance to remove the SUD from it. The matter will now go before the city’s Common Council, which next meets Aug. 2, and approval there would seem to be in doubt.

Alderwoman Cheri Enters said after the vote that she would not support the ordinance without the SUD and Mayor Scott Klein has repeatedly said he would not support consolidation without a SUD.

The SUD would have created a special taxing district within the borders of the village to pay for services the city does not receive such as sidewalks, street lighting, and leaf and brush pickup.

The proposed rate for the SUD, designed to last 10 years, would be 33 cents per $1,000 equalized value, under the proposed merger plan. Under the merger proposal with the SUD, village taxes would drop $1.66 per $1,000, while the city rate would drop 16 cents. Without the district, the tax rate savings would reduce by about 8 cents.

The merger plan called for a tax rate of a consolidated community to be $2.52 per $1,000 equalized value, but with the SUD village residents would pay $2.85.

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