While there are a few questions about revenue coming into the city, budget plans for the coming fiscal year call for no new taxes or fees.
The budget proposal, introduced to the City Council Tuesday by City Manager Ron Olson, includes such line-item "maybes" as a $40,000 salary for a full-time mayor and $100,000 for a contingency fund. The figure for a mayor's salary is just a number to initiate discussion, he said. The city currently has a part-time mayor who is paid $10,000.The proposed budget doesn't include cost-of-living raises for city employees or capital improvements projects that would require bonding.
Last year, the council grappled with a $500,000 shortfall and ended up changing the city's revenue structure by eliminating a sales tax surcharge and implementing a 6 percent utility franchise tax.
Olson said the budget proposal is based on the city's having about the same revenues as the current year - approximately $17 million. While the city isn't faced with the shortfall it had last year, Olson said projections for revenues from sales and franchise taxes may have been set too high when the budget proposal was put together.
Even so, he said, no increase in taxes or city fees is being recommended, and the budget plan would scrap the existing storm sewer fee. Garbage rates would also stay the same even though the rates do not cover the cost of the garbage collection contract. A garbage rate hike is needed in one year, Olson said.
Recommendations from several budget advisory committees, staffed by city residents, included abandoning a contract with Salt Lake County for animal control and providing the service in-house; hiring a purchasing agent/
fleet manager; contracting custodial services for city facilities; auditing utility billings; decreasing sponsorship of the Chamber of Commerce; performing management reviews of all city government functions; and starting on a list of pay-as-you-go capital projects.
Included in the list of suggested capital proj-ects are a number of street repairs, a municipal swimming pool and, in a five-to-10-year priority range, building a new City Hall.
All three of these items have had high profiles in the city during the past several years. A major road bond was defeated by voters last year. Voters killed a bond proposal for a swimming pool several years ago, and the City Hall issue has appeared on the City Council's agenda numerous times in different forms over the past four or five years.
A budget work session has been scheduled April 11, followed by an all-day work session April 22. The council then has one additional work session April 25 before it plans to adopt a tentative budget on May 2. The date set for adopting a final budget for the next fiscal year is June 27.