When trustees of the financially strapped Salt Lake Regional Service Area decided it was time to tighten belts, they started with their own.

The board Wednesday adopted a new pay plan that will reduce its maximum annual compensation for trustees to $2,500 a year per person - half the amount legally allowed under state law.Trustees, who oversee the operation of the Oquirrh Park Fitness Center, will each receive a salary of $208.33 a month for their services.

The board had previously voted to eliminate 401K and retirement contributions that have traditionally been paid by the district.

Wednesday's action overhauls an old compensation policy that paid trustees $1,500 a year plus a $75 daily per diem for doing extra work up to the statutory limit.

While it might appear the previous board was paid less, 1997 compensation documents maintained by the district indicate the per diem payments had boosted the pay of at least two trustees to nearly $5,000 for the year.

There is no pay for additional meetings or work provided by the new compensation policy.

Trustee Doral Vance, who heads the three-member service area board, said the lower pay cap reflects financially beleaguered condition of the district.

The board plans to borrow $2.5 million to complete the $10.7 million addition to the fitness center, which is scheduled to open by sum-mer, and trustees have warned the district will probably run out of operations and maintenance funds before the end of 1998.