Posted by Steve Lettau on Jul 23, 2020

By Lisa Curtis Special to Conley Media

MEQUON — Major development within the $32 million Town Center, 156 new residential units, 70 new jobs and a decrease in the tax rate. Those are among the highlights of Mequon’s 2019 financial report, which looks not only at the current economic climate of the city, but ongoing and future activities.

Technically called the Popular Annual Financial Report, it marks the sixth consecutive year that the city has compiled the data and sent it to the Government Finance Officers Association. Each of the first five have all received the award for Outstanding

Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting, according to a report from City Administrator Will Jones.

The city’s tax rate, one of the lowest in the metro Milwaukee area, is $3.28 per $1,000 of assessed property value, down 7 cents from the previous year. The assessed value of all property in the city is $4.69 billion, up $150,449 from 2018.

According to the report, the city took in $15.94 million in property taxes last year. Its total $23.25 million in revenues included $3.19 million in intergovernmental funds, $1.57 million from licenses and permits and $1.77 million from public charges for service.

Public safety, at 33.32 percent, uses the largest portion of the budget, with public works and general government operations coming in second and third respectively, according to the report.

Total spending was up about $3.25 million over 2018, largely due to capital expenses like roadwork and public safety expenditures, such as unbudgeted increases for fire department paid on call employee compensation.

The city’s population increased by 155 people last year, to 24,375. It also added 70 new jobs within the city.

Development within the city was strong last year, particularly in the Mequon Town Center on Mequon Road just west of Cedarburg Road. Spur 16, a mixed-use project valued at over $32 million, completed construction on 156 new residential dwellings, two personal health and wellness entities, and the Public Market with numerous vendors.

In addition, local microbrewery Foxtown Brewery opened its doors after extensive renovations to the building that once housed the Opitz Zimmerman Brewery in the mid-1800s.

The city also approved construction of an additional 300 multiple-family dwellings in the neighborhood and projected occupancy rates remain high, according to the report.

The city is frugal with your money while at the same time planning proactively for the future, Mequon Mayor John Wirth said in a message in the report. Through good planning and sound management, and with your support, we can ensure that the city continues to keep taxes low, to provide excellent safety services, to maintain roads, to improve services and facilities and to help foster a sense of community.