As we approach the city of Chetek mayoral vote, let’s consider the known.
City property taxes are down 7.5 percent on average and the city council has not raised the tax levy for three years. This trend will continue as our community grows and our assessments rise. In the past three years, the city sold four residential parcels and two commercial parcels. This has resulted in assessed values increasing from zero on the residential parcels to over $500,000 in 2019. 2020 will bring additional assessed value on the parcels sold. The sale of one of the commercial lots, allowed a business to expand. This lowers your taxes, and who doesn’t like that? Win.
So, why did the city buy 39 acres from Jennie-O Turkey Store? That answer is very straightforward. Barron County and Chetek have an extreme housing shortage. In fact, Chetek alone is short 81 housing units in the $125,000 to $200,000 range. This property will allow our local businesses to gain the employees they desperately need. The city is also running out of buildable lots. As houses are built in this development, our assessments rise, we collect more property tax and all of our property taxes decrease some more. Another win for our residents. An additional note, our current waste water treatment plant is sufficient and we have included growth in our new WWTP plan.
The council replaced 21,665 square feet of city sidewalks, installed a handicapped accessible dock, repaved the boat launch and we will complete the parking lot this year. It expanded and improved Main Street Park, with improvements planned for Phillips/Beach Park for this year. It lined compromised sewer lines to prevent ground water from entering our WWTP unnecessarily which saves money. The council purchased a new garbage collection system, which saves man-hours and money over time. All wins.
The council passed two ordinances that protect our children. One prevents the placement of sex offenders in Chetek after their incarceration. Second prevents the use of electronic nicotine devices in our schools. Wins for our children.
It conducted an amenities survey of our residents and visitors alike. Chetek must be forward thinking in its attractiveness, to not only its visitors, but to our potential new residents. We must look to the future as generations change and ask “what will bring people to Chetek in the future?” We gained critical information and are executing some of the cost efficient ideas as we try to find new revenue streams without raising taxes. Hopefully, we can find new revenues to launch the more costly improvements. Win.
Yes, we spent money to buy the old Jost house and the former Chetek Café building. The Jost house is very close to being condemned, per our building inspector. Hopefully, this lot will eventually be a parking area. It’s also hoped that the café lot will be part of a large new improvement per a reputable developer who’s entrenched in our city. Increased value, equals lower taxes. Win.
Even after these improvements, city property taxes decreased on average 7.5 percent! Win for all.