The deadline came and went without a lot of movement or progress, until the idea came to look into (among other things) the police department and the golf course budgets.
ìThese are the two areas that we spend the most money on,î said council member Ken Romney in a previous meeting. ìI think we should start there and then look into other areas as we progress through the entire budget.î
This yearís fiscal budget initially called for about $1.5 million in the police department, according to city council. That figure has been trimmed down to about $900,000 after Tuesday nightís budget work session.
Newly hired Deputy Administrator/Finance Director Craig Howe worked through the cityís budget before the meeting and stated that everything looked balanced out and ready to go.
ìLooking at the amount of time it took to get this budget to where it is now, Iím impressed,î he said about the city council memberís efforts. ìNormally, steep budget cuts like this take more than four or six months. For (city council) to do this much work in such a short period of time is far beyond what anyone expected.î
The golf courseís final numbers for the year werenít re-leased; however, they did receive an extra $2,000 in order to purchase some ìlightly usedî lawn mowers. Course Superintendent Paul Bergantz told council members that the mowers they plan to purchase will probably last another 20-25 years.
However, the focus on the budget went to the police department, as they looked to make steep cuts and even thought of contracting out police services from the county until after Tuesdayís city council meeting.
But the biggest concern brought up was the repayment plan of the Holly Refinery, which is due roughly $650,000 in franchise tax fees from the past three years.
The current plan as of Tuesday night was to pay the refinery $200,000 up front. After that, a monthly payment of $3,000 will be made each month during the first year, and further monthly payments will be adjusted according to an agreement made between the city and the refinery.
ìThe city has made the proper adjustments in order to pay the ëup frontí money,î said Wild. ìWe found one instance where we were charging double for inspections done by the city. There are other things, but the majority of that money we found came from there.î
West Bountiful is expected to finalize and amend the budget for the fiscal year in next Tuesdayís city council meeting.