TOWN OF BELOIT - Town of Beloit Chair Tammy Maegli officially took over for former chair Diane Greenlee on Monday after being sworn in at the Annual Town Meeting.
Maegli bested Greenlee in the spring election on April 2, winning by a vote of 827 to 523 (or 61.26 percent).
Maegli thanked her family for all of their support and help throughout the campaign.
She also thanked Greenlee for everything she has done for the town.
"I'm excited to get started. I look forward to working with the board and the town staff to make the town a place where everyone feels comfortable; a place where you want to come home to and you don't want to leave," Maegli said.
Maegli ran on a campaign to stop wasteful spending and to make the board more transparent.
Greenlee was first elected as a supervisor in 2012 and she had been town chair since 2015.
During the annual meeting, town administrator and fire chief Gene Wright and fellow staff members reviewed the town's operations for 2018.
Town Finance Director/Treasurer Sara Regenauer said in 2018 the town had a possible debt limit of $23,176,415. Regenauer said the Sewer Fund Debt doesn't add to the percentage of debt limit utilized by the town. As of Dec. 31, the town was utilizing 61 percent of its debt limit.
"Every board and municipality is different, but we decided our comfort level was 70 percent or below of our debt limit," Regenauer said.
She estimates that in 2019, because the town is refinancing a portion of the 208 sewer project, the town will be at about 55 percent of its debt capacity.
The assessed property values for 2018 was $425,386,400. This was down from the assessed value in 2017, which was $427,063,200.
Regenauer said this dip is due to state changes that affected all municipalities across Wisconsin.
"They took our assessed value of manufacturing and wiped it down to zero," Regenauer said. "They did that to everybody. That contributes to your tax bill increasing, because we have the same debt spread over lower assessed value."
At the police department, the total number of arrests increased 23 percent from 542 in 2017 to 707 in 2018. Citations decreased by 4 percent from 1,366 in 2017 to 1,317 in 2018. Operating while intoxicated arrests increased by 29 percent from 66 in 2017 to 93 in 2018. Traffic crashes decreased by 14 percent from 198 in 2017 to 170 in 2018. Total calls for service were slightly down from 11,219 in 2017 to 11,006 in 2018.
At the fire department, in 2018 there was an increase in responses and runs from 2017 to 2018. In 2018, there were 1,623 responses and 1,213 runs. In 2017, there were 1,419 responses and 1,047 runs. Wright said the numbers received from Rock County dispatch are the township's runs.
"So if we go to a car accident that is a run," Wright said. "During that time we will have two different responses. We will have a fire response, which is for extrication and those type of things, and then we have an EMS response."
The total fire loss was $790,900 in 2018.
In terms of building permits, the town moved to having a full-time building inspector in January of 2017, which resulted in a sharp increase in building permits. In 2016, there were 245 permits issued. In 2017, there were 520 permits issued. In 2018, there were 491 permits issued.
At the public works department, the roads department used 780 tons of sand and salt mix, plowed 21 times for a total of 712 hours, picked up trash for 595 hours and achieved Tree City status for 2018.
The sewer utility treated 209,351,000 gallons of raw sewage and was able to save 67 percent on the town's treatment chemicals compared to 2015.
Wright praised the work being done by town staff.
"This is one of the best overall staffs we've seen in the town," Wright said. "When we look at right now, the group we have is pretty solid."
The next annual town meeting is set for 6 p.m. on April 21, 2020, at the Beloit Town Hall.