By Owen Reissmann for Wausau Pilot and Review

During the city of Wausau’s finance committee meeting on April 9 a budget modification was proposed to move excess funds to the recycling fund to offset under-budgeted leaf collection costs. The 2017 budget was likewise lacking in this area. Should leaf collection costs for 2019 go notably over budget again, Committee Chair and City Council President Lisa Rasmussen proposed the council increase this line item right off bat for 2020 when planning out the budget.

Next up was a discussion on an organization that had been making payments in lieu of taxes, or PILOT payments, to the city for the past 20 years. In December, Impact Seven notified the city that their legal counsel advised discontinuing those payments to the city. Impact Seven’s parent company, Baysis Corp., is proposing terminating its agreement with the city.

As part of the discussion, it was discovered that the agreement the company had with the city had been on a voluntary basis, one in which a contract was never executed. Further, the organization is exempt from tax and the property value has never been assessed. As a result, the PILOT payment amount has always been based on the construction cost when the property was new. The organization currently pays the city of Wausau $27,000. They asked that payments be immediately discontinued. Or, company officials said they would be willing to pay $6,000 this year payments thereafter would be discontinued. Given there is no executable contract, the committee voted to amend this year’s payment and offer a new, more considered form of calculation for future payments. The calculation for this year’s payment was based on limited income information and came out to $10,000. A future calculation would be based on three years of all allowable expenses and income.

The fire chief was on hand to speak about requests being made on behalf of the Wausau Fire Department. One request was to replace all alkaline batteries with rechargeable. Batteries are changed monthly, which means costs can quickly add up. The new batteries come with a lifetime warranty and will never have to replaced. The request was approved.

The second request from the Wausau Fire Department was for a supplied air system. This item was approved without comment. The third request was a modification to the budget for the Fire Department Station 2 construction project, which did not get as many bids as had been hoped.

Editor’s note: The Wausau Pilot and Review Documenters program is made possible through individual donations and grants from several organizations including the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin. The program aims to democratize news and information at the local level through a group of local contributors who attend meetings and document their observations.

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