City officials say Springville is known as the Art City for good reason - the city has been willing to financially support its many art-related functions and organizations.
The city also has a strong recreational program and parks system, which also cost money.Money to support these programs comes from the city's general fund. However, over the past few years the general fund has depended heavily on utility funds to survive. But city officials say they no longer want to support other programs with utility funds.
"We are looking to grow into the general fund being self-supportive," City Recorder Richard Manning said.
For this reason, residents may soon be paying a little more to enjoy arts, recreation and parks. The city's proposed 1991-92 budget includes changes that would eventually shift the burden of supporting these programs from utility users to property taxpayers.
City officials are proposing to keep a tax levy in place that would expire in June and to maintain each year the certified tax rate currently being assessed.
In June, a debt-service tax levy of .000209 that was used to pay for the city's swimming pool will expire. However, city officials want to keep the rate in place and shift it to the general fund. Money received from the levy, about $60,000, will go toward making much-needed improvements at the pool. The shift will raise the city's general use certified tax rate to .002016 and decrease the debt-service rate to .000324.
By keeping that rate stable for the next few years, the city will bring in more property tax revenue. Normally the rate goes down each year as more building takes place. Both changes will require the city to hold a public hearing in August.
"We don't want to increase property taxes dramatically. We know this philosophy will take a few years to take effect," Manning said.
The proposals will not result in an immediate reduction in utility rates. However, city officials say as they are able to use fewer utility funds in the general fund, utility rates should decrease.
Excess revenue generated by the changes next year will be used to help fund capital projects and to replace reserves used over the past two years. The electrical department is converting to a unified voltage system and will begin construction on a hydroelectric unit near Upper Bartholomew Springs.
Also, to help fund water projects that follow the city's new water master plan, rates for water used over 8,000 gallons per month will increase from 32 cents per 1,000 gallons to 50 cents. Garbage rates will also be increased by about 40 cents per month to cover tipping fees at the new transfer station. City officials expected the tipping fee to be about $21.80 per ton, but the fee is $23 per ton. Green fees and golf passes at Hobble Creek Golf Course will also be increased for the 1992 season.