City Council Announcements
A. Decisions, Feedback & Information needed by staff
1. Attached is a draft copy of the Chair message for the budget book. Do Council Members have any changes, corrections or additions to the Chair budget message for the budget book?
Council Members did not have changes to the budget message.
2. Ms. Dijana Alickovic was interviewed by the City Council on July 7, 2005 to be appointed to the Housing Advisory and Appeals Board. Although Ms. Alickovic works in Salt Lake City she lives in West Valley City and therefore was not eligible to serve on the Housing Advisory and Appeals Board but would be eligible to serve on the City & County Building Conservancy and Use Committee Board. (This appointment was sent to Council Members on Tuesday August 30, 2005) Would the Council want to re-interview or just appoint Ms. Alickovic?
All Council Members present wanted to look at Ms. Alickovic’s qualifications to serve on the City & County Building Conservancy and Use Committee Board.
3. Special Meetings Needed in October and November: The Board of Canvassers needs to convene after the Primary Election in October and the General Election in November. You may recall from last election year that it is necessary to convene at the lunch hour on the Tuesday following the election and again that evening during the regular meeting. Are Council Members available to convene at noon on Tuesday, October 11 and Tuesday, November 15?
Ms. Gust-Jensen said at least four Council Members needed to be in attendance. Councilmember Buhler said he might not be able to attend in October.
4. Northwest Quadrant Tours: Are interested Council Members available to attend ground and / or helicopter tours of the Northwest Quadrant on Thursday, September 29 or Friday, September 30 from 9 a.m. until the lunch hour (box lunch provided during tour)?
Councilmember Christensen said he preferred Thursday and Councilmember Jergensen said he preferred Friday. Other Council Members did not commit. Councilmember Turner said he wanted to go again and Councilmember Love said she did not want any one to go based on her schedule. She said she would go when ever Councilmember Lambert wanted.
5. Property Conveyance 350 South and 200 East.
No hearing necessary.
Dear Salt Lake City Residents;
The most important and challenging responsibility the City Council has each year is to finalize and adopt an annual budget. As with other years, the budget process for Fiscal Year 2005/06 has been a challenging one of balancing important City service needs with projected revenues. The process takes a number of months of study, evaluation, planning, and public participation. We believe that the result of this process is a budget which will continue to efficiently provide quality services to Salt Lake City residents without a property tax increase.
The general fund budget provides for traditional government services such as police, fire, streets, parks, community development, and general government. The adopted budget for the general fund is $172,738,000 including $47,128,000 for police services, $28,696,000 for fire protection, and $34,610,000 for streets and parks. The general fund budget contains a 2.9% increase over the previous year’s budget.
In addition to the general fund budget, the Council also scrutinized and adopted budgets for the enterprise funds, capital projects fund, special revenue funds, debt service funds, and internal service funds. The enterprise funds budgets for the airport, water, sewer, stormwater, and golf funds add up to $327,128,000. The total budget for the City is $633,795,000.
The budget includes appropriations in the Capital Improvement Fund of $19,273,000 for ongoing capital improvement projects. The Capital Improvement Program provides for major repair or renovation of streets, parks, public buildings and City property. The City uses a 20-year inventory of capital needs, as well as a 5-year plan for future projects. Projects are reviewed and ranked annually by a citizen board. Despite continued funding efforts, the City Council remains concerned about a significant backlog in needed capital improvements.
In addition to the appropriation to the Capital Improvement Fund, the budget includes $230,382,000 of capital improvement projects of enterprise funds primarily for airport improvements and replacement of water, sewer and stormwater systems.
The City Council adopted the certified tax rate without a property tax increase. The City is allowed by law to assess a one-year levy for court ordered refunds of prior-years’ taxes. The Council authorized this “judgment levy” for the Library Fund (74 cents to the annual taxes of an average residence) and toward the repayment of general obligation bonds (43 cents for an average residence). The City’s general fund must also refund property taxes relating to the court-ordered judgments, but the City will fund these refunds from existing reserves.
The City refinanced existing debt at a lower interest rate, allowing $6.4 million to be used for ongoing projects. As a result of these refinancing opportunities, the City was able to fund its portion of the Salt Palace Convention Center expansion without issuing new debt.
Although the budget necessarily included some reductions and efficiencies, we believe that we have succeeded in adopting a budget that maintains or enhances service levels. Ten new police officers were added to the budget for neighborhood and traffic patrol. Other staff positions were added to the budget, including a structural engineer in Building Services & Licensing, an additional land-use planner, two additional fire dispatchers, another prosecutor, and an additional support clerk for the Prosecutor’s Office. The Council also approved additional monies for the Arts Council.
Finally, after a year when the Council was unable to give raises, we were able to provide modest, well-deserved raises to our valued City employees.
We express appreciation for the input we received from City residents during this budget process, and we encourage you to remain active in City government. Working together, we can make decisions which will benefit our community for years to come.
For additional information on the City’s budget or any other issue, please call the Council Office at 535-7600, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us on the City’s Website at http://www.slcgov.com.
Dale J. Lambert