The finance director (Gary LeChaminant) gave a high level review of the budget and the council asked questions as they arose. We had received a copy of the preliminary budget prior to the meeting, which I’ve uploaded to Google and made accessible to everyone. The spreadsheet I’ve shared has questions that I inserted as comments (cells with black triangle in the top right corner). Note, if you put your cursor over a cell with comments they will be displayed in a pop-up box. Gary reviewed my questions in advance of the meeting and added his responses to the relevant rows in the last column. I’ve highlight categories where the requested increase as a percentage exceeded the projected revenue growth.
Here are some quick bits of information:
- Revenues to the city are anticipated to grow about 2%. Note $110,000 of the.$158,000 net revenue “growth” came from drawing on the city reserves.
- General fund expenditures grew slightly less than revenues.
- Both Police and Fire are requesting an 11% increase in their budgets.
- For the police this is primarily driven by a request to add 1 more officer. I asked if we had considered using volunteers to provide assistance with accidents, patrolling homes that are temporally vacant … . Chief Gwilliam said that would like to do that but hadn’t implemented such a program yet.
- For the Fire Department most of the additional funds requested are needed to offset a reduction in revenue. The Fire Department generates income from the fees it collects for providing emergency transportation services. The reduction was attributed to a reduction in the rates they can charge due to the Affordable Care Act.
- The public works department requested a total of ~$440,000 from the Culinary Water and Sewer funds to purchase a Vactor (a sewer cleaning truck that essentially vacuums out sewer lines). Matt Shipp asked Alpine and Cedar Hills if they wanted to share the cost of this vehicle with us but they said no. The council asked him to check with American Fork, who has two such vehicles if we could cost share with them.
Below are some charts from Gary’s presentation:
If you have questions about the preliminary budget please ask; if I don’t know the answer I will try to find out. I have questions of my own which I will share after I get an initial response from staff.