Utah County commissioners on Monday increased this year's county budget by $163,400, but they forgot to hold a public hearing first as required by law.
The amount in the budget change represents increased revenue expected from a 50-cent surcharge recently tacked onto residential phone bills to finance start-up costs for a countywide enhanced 911 emergency system.The $163,400 is being added to a general fund total of $16,864,441, which raises general fund revenue for the year to $17,027,841.
Commissioners inadvertently approved the increase without first holding a public hearing, which had been advertised for Monday prior to the regular commission meeting.
"To me, it's illegal. The state requires a public hearing," Commissioner Malcolm Beck said.
Commission Chairman Brent Morris said E911 funding, which has been discussed at several meetings the past month, should have been brought to the commission's attention.
Beck said the commission could be sued over the improper action. Another public hearing, however, could be scheduled to correct the problem.