No plan to address budget shortfall

City takes wait-and-see approach

The city has no specific plan at this point for addressing a $98,000 shortfall in the capital improvement projects budget for 2018 other than a continual reassessing of the financial situation as the year plays out.

Shawano city officials voted down a proposed wheel tax aimed at propping up the CIP budget in November after an angry contingent of citizens voiced opposition to it.

The tax would have added an additional $10 fee for vehicles registered in the city and was expected to bring in roughly $99,000 in revenue that would have gone into the city’s CIP budget.

After a lengthy discussion by the Common Council about possible places to cut the CIP budget, it was determined that department heads would return to the council with specific suggested cuts.

That hasn’t happened, and the city instead seems to be opting for a more casual approach.

“All of the items (in the CIP budget) are still there and we intend to bid them,” said City Administrator Brian Knapp. “We’ll do as much as we can with the (budgeted) funding. So if something comes in over budget, that further exacerbates the $98,000 shortfall and we’ll have to do something less.”

That could mean reducing the scope of some street construction projects or even dropping some CIP projects or equipment purchases altogether, depending on the costs submitted by potential vendors and contractors.

“The intention is to bid everything,” Knapp said.

That includes planned street reconstruction projects, sidewalk improvements, street resurfacings, and several large park and recreation projects not directly associated with the parks improvement plan.

“Once (the bids on) those are in,” Knapp said, “we’ll know whether or not we can do everything or whether we’re going to have to actually take out the fence at Memorial Park or the driveway at Memorial Park, some of those things that have been talked about. That’s how we’re going to approach it.”

Knapp said the city tries to be conservative on its cost estimates, which could help fund some projects if those bids come in lower than expected.

“If we estimate $1 million for streets and they actually come in at $950,000, we have $50,000 in appropriation that could be applied to the fence at Memorial Park,” he said.