BY REBECCA PALMER
BOUNTIFUL – This city, like Kaysville to the north, has come under criticism for transferring money from its electric fund to the general fund during annual budgeting.
Both cities have their own municipal power companies, and both boast lower rates than corporate competitor Rocky Mountain Power, even after the transfers are factored in.
Bountiful has transferred about $2 million annually since the early 1960s, said former city recorder and treasurer Bruce W. Parkin, who attended June 11 budget hearings.
This year, the power fund will give $2.37 million to general city coffers.
“One of the reasons I did move to Bountiful was the low power rate,” said Colleen Colton at the hearing, speaking against the transfer. “I believe the process is somewhat deceptive Й I question that is the thing we want to do as taxpayers.”
When Colton learned about the transfers and asked friends, family and neighbors about it, none were aware of the situation, she said. She was the only person who spoke against it at the meeting.
The remarks sparked a discussion about the policy but resulted in no changes to the budget, which was approved later that evening.
Councilman Fred Moss said that the $2 million from the power fund is almost equal to the $2.4 million expected from all property taxes collected by the city.
“It was a more fair way to spread that out to everything,” said the councilman, who is seeking reelection this fall. “Most people that I talk to feel like it’s a fairer situation than to raise property taxes.”
In addition to his council duties, Moss sits on the power commission.
After the meeting, Bountiful City Power Director Allen Ray Johnson said he thinks the transfer system has benefits both ways. Within the last few years, there have been transfers going the other direction that have helped fund the construction of a new building and new turbines, he said.
The vast majority of cities with municipal power companies, such as Logan and Murray, have regular transfers to general funds, he added, but said he did not have exact figures.