WEST BOUNTIFUL — As promised by a previous city council, water rates are now lower for West Bountiful property owners.
In addition, the city’s 2014 budget, which is due to be approved next month, will be no higher than last year’s.
At $2.8 million, it includes no property tax increase. There is a proposal to raiase storm water utility fees $2 a month per customer, and $1 per garbage can.
“The general fund health continues to improve from the lows experienced since Fiscal Year 2008,” City Administrator Duane Huffman said. “The recovery is slow, and our tentative budget proposes a modest inrease in revenue projections and expenditures.”
Other highlights of the tentative budget approved by the council include:
• Employee-related cost increases, including 7.1 percent for higher health insurance premiums, 2 percent merit pay for eligible employees and 4 percent merit for eligible police officers.
In addition, $12,000 is appropriated to the council that can be allocated for employee incentives.
• New equipment includes snow plow equipment, $7,500; safety ladders, $1,000, and additional funds for street repairs, $10,000.
• A ndw full-time water department employee will be hired, two new service trucks purchased, plus hydraulic equipment.
• A leased “rough” lawn mower is proposed for Lakeside Golf Course, additional maintenance of the irrigation system and turf, improved cart paths, range picker and pro-shop building upgrades.
“There have been dramatic revenue increases during the beginning of the 2014 golf season,” Huffman said. He attributes that to good weather, changes in management and course improvements. A 2 percent usage increase is projected for this season.
• Caopital improvement funds are targeted to be spent on projects for 725, 800 an 900 West and Pages Lane improvements. In addition, storm drain improvements are planned for Porter Lane and Birnam Woods, as well as 1100 West.
• RAP (Recreation, Arts & Parks) fund revenues continue to grow. In addition to paying for several recreation projects, the budget includes money for installing netting along Prospector Trail, construction of a public-access restroom for Prospector Trail and the golf course, picnic tables and park maintenance equipment.
The city’s sales tax revenue, which generates just over half of all city operating funds, grew by 6.4 percent through April.
The $10 reduction had been promised by the previous city council, based on fee increases to prop up what was a sagging fund. Finances are more sound now, prompting the vote, Huffman said.
“The only impact will be in future-year capital improvements,” he said.