Pleasant Grove creates mini budget guide for residents

Published: Thursday, Jan. 24 2013 6:57 p.m. MST

PLEASANT GROVE — Citing the need for financial education, Pleasant Grove released a 2012-13 fiscal year budget this month numbering only seven pages.

The tiny version of the budget was put together as a reference for its residents.

The document, named City Budget at a Glance, is a trimmed down version of the 91-page original. It was designed to explain the city's revenue and expenditure models in layman's terms and encourage residents to ask questions.

"We think most people are generally interested in understanding more about how the city operates," Pleasant Grove finance director Dean Lundell said. "It's an awesome look at the various parts of the economy and their relation to City Hall."

City management intern Camden Bird, who put together the booklet, said the service has frequently been successful elsewhere and will encourage two-way dialogue with elected officials.

"We hope the citizen’s budget will empower citizens to better understand how their money is being used and help create transparency and accountability for the city," Bird said.

The city's goal is to disseminate the information as widely as possible, including an online version available at plgrove.org.  

"We placed copies at City Hall, the recreation center, the library — really wherever we have a building," City Administrator Scott Darrington said. "For those of us who work in city government, these processes become engrained in our minds and sometimes and we don't stop to think that sometimes our citizens might want to know more."

The seven pages offer basic descriptions of everything from Pleasant Grove's capital projects, to the city's general fund revenue, to how property taxes are calculated and distributed.

"Pleasant Grove’s budget is large and complex, with detailed information about how the city operates and what expenditures are approved by the City Council," the guide states in its introduction. "This document simplifies important elements of the city’s budget to ensure transparency for the citizens, whose money this is."

E-mail: blockhart@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @benlockhart89

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