Fearing the initiative to remove sales tax from food would cost Richfield upwards of $100,000 annually, the City Council has unanimously gone on record opposing it.
An across-the-board cut of at least 5 percent would be needed if all departments were included in a budget cut because of revenue loss from the initiative, council members were told by Mike Langston, city finance director. The council agreed that the loss of revenue would seriously affect the city's operations and budget.One councilman, Paul Lyman, said he favored the initiative but voted with other council members in not supporting it in lieu of the lack of a better source of needed city revenues. "I think the food tax is very unfair," he stated. Lyman's motion to require the Utah Legislature to find other means of providing revenue to replace the food tax failed to find support from other council members.
Mayor Jay C. Andersen said he supported the council's action. He added that if the initiative passes and the city's essential services such as water, sewer, fire department and police department continued to operate at the present budget level, other areas of the city's operations would have to be cut at least 10 percent.
The council also decided to erect four-way stop signs at near the Ashman Elementary School as a safety measure. These are at Center and 200 West and 100 North and 200 West. Stop signs have been at these locations for north and south traffic, making Center and 100 North through streets.
Council members were not particularly enthused about the idea of the four-way stops even though they approved them.
Councilwoman Beth Roberts said the problem is not so much with children but with parents who stop their vehicles in the area, creating traffic hazards. The school grounds have high fences on the west and south sides and double fences where children get on and off buses.
Councilman Terry Anderson favored the four-way stop on Center Street but not on 100 North. He was joined by Councilman Jim Forsey in favor of erecting signs on only one street for a trial period. It will be determined in January whether the traffic change will remain permanent.