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Sheboygan County budget has public hearing, issue of emergency radio upgrade discussed


SHEBOYGAN, WI (WHBL) - The issue of replacing emergency radios topped public comments for the 2014 Sheboygan County Budget Tuesday evening.

One item in the $126 million budget is to bond for funding a future upgrade in the county wide emergency radio system.  One possible plan to help pay for this would be to have towns, villages and cities pay the county back half of what they would need for their local emergency departments.

Two people, including Johnsonville Fire Chief Dennis Roehrborn, said this would be too much for their budgets to cover and hope the county can pay all or more of this cost.  He said something is wrong when entities who have to fundraise to make sure they have proper equipment to do their job may have to cover the cost for something that another entity could cover in full without additional help.

County Administrator Adam Payne said this matter is still in committee discussion and a final recommendation will be presented to the full board in the near future.

Other than this, the public hearing was a chance for Payne to thank all departments for their help in the nine month process to come up with a budget that keeps services at current levels.  The budget will see only the third levy increase in seven years, with a tax rate going up 19 cents per thousand to $5.60.

The budget is up for official approval next week Tuesday.