BY LOUISE R. SHAW
Clipper Staff Writer
KAYSVILLE — Funds will not be transferred from the city’s electric utility fund for use in its general fund, after a vote taken on Tuesday.
City council members voted unanimously to support the amended budget, after hearing testimony from concerned citizens earlier this month and discussing the transfer at a work session last week.
The transfer was first made last year when city staff cited the need for new police officers and proposed the fund transfer rather than a tax increase.
A group of residents opposed the transfer from the outset and collected enough signatures to get an initiative on the ballot this coming November, that would prevent the city from making transfers in the future.
In light of the initiative, council members decided against transferring the funds this year.
Instead, money will be drawn from the city’s general fund reserves.
“We have adequate reserves to accomplish what the council has directed us to do,” said Dean Storey, finance director on Wednesday morning, adding: “We certainly can’t do it every year. I think the council understands that there is just a one-time opportunity to cover that revenue for this year.”
State law allows cities to hold between 5 and 25 percent of the projected revenues of their general fund in a rainy day fund. With the transfer, the city will hold about 18 percent in the reserve account, said Storey.
Orwin Draney, a Kaysville resident for 72 years, challenged council members to state they would “support the will of the people” if the ballot measure preventing the transfer passes in November.
“Yes, I will support the citizens of Kaysville,” said Councilman Gil Miller, “I believe I do it every day.”
Jared Taylor, also a member of the council, proposed an amendment to the budget prior to its passage.
While the compensation plan in the budget included a 1.5 percent market adjustment for those on the city payroll, Taylor proposed that payments to council members not increase from their 2013 levels. Council members now receive $510 per month, and the mayor, $1,045, according to Storey.
The amendment passed unanimously.
Storey emphasized that the transfer of power funds was not really a right or wrong decision.
“It’s a choice that the council makes,” he said. “Is it better to fund that with taxes or to do it with enterprise funds, which is entirely legal and appropriate. It just becomes a choice of funding.”
The 2014 budget includes a general fund of $11,132,079, debt service fund of $315,000 and a capital projects fund of $150,000.
Enterprise funds include $2,972,500 in the water fund, $1,795,000 for sewer, $14,261,000 for power, $1,095,000 in the pressure irrigation fund, $1,835,000 in the sanitation fund, $1,065,000 in the storm water fund and $540,000 in the ambulance services fund.
Permanent funds are $65,000 in the cemetery perpetual care fund and $10,000 in the library endowment fund.