Editor's Note: The following information was provided to Patch via a news release from Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas.
Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas introduced his 2014 Executive Budget, which freezes the County portion of the property tax bill, to the Waukesha County Board at its meeting this evening.
“Through efficiency, smart budgeting and sticking to our core values, we are able to hold the line on County property taxes for 2014,” Vrakas said.
In order to freeze taxes, Waukesha County practices conservative budgeting and focuses on collaborating with other governments and the private sector to implement efficiencies and save tax dollars.
One partnership Vrakas highlighted is an effort to reduce employee health insurance costs by partnering with the City of Waukesha and the Waukesha School District to develop a privately operated on-site medical clinic within existing space on County grounds. A recent study projected that this clinic will generate nearly $7 million in savings over five years for the County, City and School District, by lowering health claims and prescription drug costs through onsite management and encouraging greater efficiency in care. The County is currently seeking a privately run healthcare provider to operate the facility.
Vrakas’s proposed budget maintains investments in roads and buildings. Vrakas said that by maintaining infrastructure, Waukesha County will help retain, grow and attract businesses while continuing to provide a high-quality of life for residents.
“This proposed budget maintains strategic investments in our infrastructure. Our values of focusing on public safety, efficiency and collaboration can be seen in our capital plans,” Vrakas said. “Waukesha County is committed to maintaining our infrastructure while planning for future growth.”
Highway projects in the Capital Plans portion of the budget include expanding a portion of County Highway O/Moorland Road in the City of New Berlin from two to four lanes and widening 2 miles of CTH M/North Avenue in the City of Brookfield. Highway rehabilitation projects a portion of CTH F in Pewaukee, CTH I in the City of New Berlin and upgrades and jurisdictional transfer of CTH C in the City of Delafield.
“Because we value operating our County like a business, when we invest in a road or a building project, we put a minimum of 20 percent down, the funds we borrow are at the lowest interest rate available because of our AAA/Aaa bond rating and each bond issue is paid off in ten years or less,” Vrakas said. “This is an extraordinary standard, for government or the private sector, a standard of which we can all be proud.”
The County Board will review Vrakas’ 2014 Proposed Budget in committee with final passage expected in November.