By Sue Moore
A slight reduction in the operating tax for Vicksburg Village was approved by the Council at its June meeting following a budget process started by Village Manager Jim Mallery.
The rate will decline by 18 cents per $1,000 taxable valuation, from $15.93 to $15.75, to more closely align with what other municipalities are doing by lowering their millage rates.
“We are moving in the right direction,” Mallery said. “We have plans on track to be debt free by 2033 while lowering the millage rate to voters in the interim.” He stated that this was an activity- based budget as opposed to the line item budget council members had worked with for many years.
The newest trustees, Gail Reisterer and Tim Frisbie, thanked Mallery for the clarity of the budget descriptions and the time he’s devoted to placing the village on sound financial footing.
The total general fund revenue from the tax is estimated at $1.23 million. Spending is estimated at $1.17 million. Mallery indicated the reduction in millage is possible because the estimated taxable value of property in the village will increase to $83.4 million from $78.4 million in 2016. The village’s total debt is about $3.67 million, with a little more than $252,000 anticipated to be paid toward principal in fiscal 2017-2018. The separate street expenditures, water and sewer funds are not included in the general fund and receive dollars from the village, user fees and the state.
Mallery noted that the police department appropriation is 50 percent of the general fund but was two-thirds of the budget just four years ago. The Vicksburg Foundation has pledged $32,150 for the purchase of two police vehicles. The village will pay the remainder. The department budget includes a chief, a sergeant and four full-time officers, one of them the school resource officer.
In other business, Mallery announced the appointment of Michelle Morgan to become the village treasurer on a part-time basis. “She is knowledgeable and capable with a degree in accounting and many years of experience. She will also work on Angels Crossing financials.”
The largest street and water main repair will take place on Boulevard beginning July 10. The target date for completion is August, before Sunset Elementary begins classes in early September. The village will re-install no-parking signs in front of the school and begin enforcing them.
Several village residents of South Street voiced concern about potholes at the west end of the street. It isn’t on the current schedule for improvement, Mallery said. He and DPW chief Randy Schippers will investigate to see what might be possible in the way of temporary fixes.