Plans to sell a $900,000 office building and move to a $7 million building prompted Sandy officials to object to the Salt Lake County Water Conservancy District's 1989 budget Thursday.
Mayor Steve Newton and Byron Jorgenson, Sandy's chief administrative officer, who serve on the water district's board, voted against the district's $17 million budget for the coming calendar year. The two also object to plans for a $25 million bond issue, part of which would help pay for the new office complex being built in West Jordan.Newton's objection to the district's plans for the new building is not new. He said it is irresponsible for the district to sell the current facility for $900,000 and move to a building that will cost more than seven times that amount.
"It's a beautiful building, I admit," Newton said of the new facility. "But we'll be violating our responsibility to the ratepayers."
Newton suggested the district sell the new building and land, then expand the existing facility at 3495 S. Third West. That idea sparked very little discussion by the board. The board's decision to build was unanimous at the time construction was approved, said board member Dennis Morrell.
Citing a $142-per-acre-foot price Sandy now pays the district for wholesale water, Newton said, "The interest alone on the new building is going to cost me $9 to $10 an acre-foot."
Jorgenson also questioned the district's plan to add six new employees next year, including a second staff attorney.
The board passed a motion that includes money in the budget for the six new positions but calls for a review of the need for the new jobs before they are filled.
The balance of the financial plan, including money to pay the $4.9 million still outstanding on the new office and shop complex, was passed as presented to the board.
Jorgenson also suggested the district undergo a performance audit to make sure any operating inefficiencies are identified and weeded out. Board Chairman Gerald K. Maloney suggested Jorgenson have the idea included on a Later agenda for discussion.