So far, city officials are keeping true to their promise of no new taxes. In fact, this year they've added a treat for residents by not revising any city-imposed collection rates.
Figures from the city's preliminary fiscal 1992 budget indicate that last year's 33 percent boost in residential water-usage rates should cover debt service owed on $2 million worth of bonding on improvement projects like a new reservoir and storage system.Should the citywide system warrant further upgrades, though, adjustments in the rates could be made "dependent upon the outcome of future water developments," City Administrator Dave Oyler said.
Overall, city officials are planning on spending more than $9.2 million during the year - still some $775,000 less than the current fiscal year. However, because the city expects to garner $9.2 million in revenues, it will lose $775,000 in revenues between the two fiscal years.
For example, $65,000 in revenues will be lost because the city is now participating in the East Bay Landfill after phasing out its city-run landfill operations. Another continuing trend has the city losing tax revenue from laws allowing commercial utility users that produce resale items to claim tax-exempt status on their utility bills.
Coupled with the fact that city officials transferred reserve electrical department revenues into the general fund to help balance expenses there, the electrical department will have more than $1.2 million less to work with than the previous year.
On the positive side, the only capital outlay proj-ect the department will fund is $260,000 on electric line upgrades, meaning the department will spend $1.3 million less in such projects while maintaining its current service quality, Oyler said.
One area of proposed increased funding is emergency services. The city will spend $400,000 on the construction of a new public safety building, which will house the city's fire department.
The budget also provides funding for a city emergency preparedness officer, whose duties entail providing expertise in assisting with citywide emergencies and environmental regulations.
The electrical and emergency services projects indicate how the city is "placing a high priority on the basic city services, such as utilities and public safety," Oyler said. "The intent of the budget is to maintain high-quality services for citizens while keeping expenditures to a minimum."
Because the city has so far avoided bonding for other capital-improvement projects, Spanish Fork is in relatively good shape financially, Oyler said.
"The budget, along with last year's budget,
reflects the philosophy of the city to continue building basic city services and to pay for these improvements with present dollars, avoiding additional debt where possible."