by Emmitt B. Feldner
for The Beacon
SHEBOYGAN — The county has a new budget and new supervisory districts for 2022.
The County Board has approved both.
With little change in the county’s population over the past 10 years, the new supervisory districts drawn following the 2020 census are largely unchanged.
County Administrator Adam Payne praised County Clerk Jon Dolson and his staff, who worked with GIS Specialist Brett Zemba of the county Planning and Conservation Department to create the maps.
“This has been a very, very smooth process that, because of the timetable, has been rushed,” Payne commented.
The original timetable had been to have the maps drawn and ready for the approval process by July. But because the census data on which the maps are based was not available until August, the process had to be shortened considerably.
By contrast, when the county was last redistricted in 2011 following the 2010 census, that process began in March and ended with final approval in September.
“I want to thank and acknowledge … Dolson for his leadership on this,” Payne said of the redistricting process.
• • •
The $167 million budget includes a nearly $52 million property tax levy and a property tax rate of $4.77 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.
The levy is an increase of 1.14 percent over the 2021 budget, while tax rate is down 4 percent from last year’s rate.
It marks the sixth straight year that the county property tax rate has declined.
• • •
The board approved $3.4 million worth of expenditures from American Rescue Plan Act funds over the next six years.
All but $560,000 of the allocations are for the Rocky Knoll Health Care Center, including covering $1.065 million in projected losses there in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Other expenditures include wage increases, sign-on bonuses, shift differential pay increases and other measures designed to address a staffing shortage at Rocky Knoll. The ARPA expenditures approved by the board were only a part of the total amount the county will get from ARPA – $3.4 million out of the total $22.5 million the county will be getting this year and next in ARPA funds.
• • •
The Planning and Conservation director was authorized to apply to the Department of Natural Resources for a $1 million grant from the municipal dam grant program.
The grant would be for the Broughton Sheboygan County Marsh dam, which is scheduled for replacement in 2023.
The county would be responsible for the rest of the $2.69 million project and has included it in the five-year capital improvement plan.
The Sheboygan County Conservation Association has pledged $100,000 toward the bypass and dam reconstruction project.