2020 Budget Adopted
Plymouth, WI – On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, the Plymouth Common Council approved the 2020 budget. The budget approved the $7.6M general fund budget along with the capital spending priorities for enterprise fund activities (water, sewer, electric). The 2019/2020 tax levy remains at the same level as 2018/2019 at $4,308,042. The assessed tax rate prior to various state credits is $6.95 per thousand. On an equalized basis, the tax rate is $6.45. The current assessment ratio is 92.8% of fair market value.
The special charge for garbage service increases by $8.53 and $0.84 for recycling. Total special charges for garbage is $57.98 along with $34.44 for recycling. Over 10 years, the full cost of garbage and recycling service is being transitioned to a special charge on the tax roll to the properties that benefit from the service.
The budget includes no adjustment to water or electric rates in 2020. The budget implements a previously approved adjustment to the sewer rates by moving the volume charge from $3.40 to $3.50 per 100 cubic feet. On average, residential customers should see a 2.1% cost increase to the sewer portion of the utility bill. In 2020, the stormwater utility fees will be implemented upon update of the billing and account information. Upon update, the average monthly charge for stormwater fees will be $2.50 per single-family residential home.
The budget includes approximately $400,000 in funding for maintenance to the wastewater treatment plant. The final year of the AMI smart meter project is also scheduled for completion and has an estimated cost of $150,000. $267,000 is being spent on upgrading Department of Public Works equipment and facilities along with $232,000 in capital investments to city parks. Parks funding includes $15,000 for public trees, $42,500 for skateboard park improvements, $75,000 for Youth Center bathroom and flooring upgrades, $45,000 for Rotary Park bathroom facility upgrades, and $15,000 in repairs to the aquatic center flooring. The budget also includes a $20,000 grant to the Plymouth Intergenerational Coalition (PIC) for an additional pickle ball court at Generations.
Funding in the amount of $40,000 is being provided to continue the conversion of municipal street lighting to LEDs. LED lighting has been a multi-year funding effort and 42.9% of all street lighting has now been converted. Funding for several IT projects was also approved including funds to move the data center to a more secure area, new website development, and security camera system improvements.
Funding increased for the Plymouth Public Library for more resources for digital content and children’s computers along with adding one full-time position to the library. The budget reclassifies one patrol officer to a lieutenant position as part of the department’s succession planning.
2019 Bond Financing to Support 2020 Street Projects
The Common Council also approved the issuance of $1,540,000 in general obligation bonds to support the Appleton Street project area which is scheduled to be built in 2020. The project includes roadway and utility improvements. The project is in a lead water lateral service area and also has a lower pavement rating compared to other areas of the city. The bond financing is planned to be backed by the revenue of Tax Incremental Finance District #5.
On November 7th, Moody’s maintained the bond rating of the City of Plymouth at Aa3. The bond results from the November 12th sale date were also approved at the November 12th Common Council meeting. The bonds will be paid back over a 10-year period and have a true interest rate cost of 1.8771%.
In 2020, the City of Plymouth will also be reviewing the opportunity to refinance the 2011 combined utility revenue bonds (CURB). The bonds primarily financed the Plymouth Utilities Operations Center and carry an interest rate of approximately 4%. If refinanced, it is projected that all municipal debt will be financed at a cost of about 3% or less with a substantial portion at 2% or less. As of November 2019, total municipal debt totaled $24.1 million.