Residents are facing fee increases in the city budget proposed for 1991-92.
City officials are recommending total increases of $2.41 plus a 5 percent increase in fee charges for sewer, water and garbage. Additional tax increases are possible, depending on how the City Council handles several budget issues.The City Council begins a series of four work sessions on the budget May 21. The council is schedule to adopt a final budget June 18.
The tentative budget for 1991-92 is $26.2 million. Orem appropriated $32.6 million during the current year, a figure skewed by large capital improvement projects. In 1990-91, capital improvements ate up 43 percent of the budget.
In the coming year capital improvements represent 28 percent of the budget.
A better comparison: The proposed budget is $3 million more than the city spent in 1989-90.
City staff have identified 10 budget issues the council will tackle in its work sessions. They are:
- Increasing solid-waste fees $1.21 per month to cover costs of relocating the garbage dump, closing the Lindon Landfill and adopting a four-week spring cleanup program.
- Increase water fees 20 cents per month to cover increased treatment costs.
- Establish a $1 per month storm-waste utility fee to implement new storm-water discharge standards.
- Approve a master plan update project. The city's master plan was last revised in 1980. Cost: $25,000.
- Establish a $5.2 million funding program for improving State Street. The Utah Department of Transportation has a four-year plan to revamp State Street from the city's southern boundary to approximately 1600 North in Orem. The proposed program would allow Orem to update water and sewer lines, storm drainage and sidewalks along the roadway.
The program would be funded through increases in water fees, sewer fees, storm-water discharge fees and capital improvement monies.
- Increase sewer, water and garbage fees 5 percent for inflation.
- Establish an "aggressive environmental program at a cost of $212,400.
- Should the city's franchise tax be maintained at its current level? The staff recommendation is that the 5.36 percent tax be left alone.
- Add four new staff positions: building inspector, plan checker, prosecutor and public safety officer to the city's drug awareness program. The new positions will cost $202,089 in 1991-92.
- Maintain the existing property tax level by not taking advantage of the AMAX legislation passed by the Utah Legislature in 1991.
The lion's share
The bulk of the city's $26.2 million proposed budget will be spent by the city's public works department.
- That department accounts for 45.5 percent - $14.7 million - of the budget pie.
- The second largest slice of the budget goes to the public safety department, which accounts for $6.5 million or 20.1 percent of the budget.
- Administrative services will spend $3.4 million or 10.5 percent of the budget.
- Non-departmental and contingency expenses are $2.3 million or 7.1 percent of the budget.
- The city manager's budget is $1.7 million or 5.4 percent of the budget.
- The library's share of the budget is $1.1 million or 3.5 percent.