Council Approves 2015-16 City Budget
At their June 16 meeting, the Council continued its discussion of and adopted the Fiscal Year 2015-16 City budget. Discussion centered on topics the Council would like the Administration to further study in the coming months, including:
- how Pioneer Park should be managed;
- how Police Department resources can increase communication with the Community;
- options for partnering with other organizations to share some of the City’s fleet needs;
- and other topics.
The Council has been discussing and tweaking Mayor Ralph Becker’s recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2015-16 for the last six weeks. The Council held three public hearings during the budget process in addition to receiving online, written, and in person feedback from residents.
Budget Change Highlights
A highlight of Council changes to the Mayor’s Recommended Budget includes:
- Adjustments to property tax revenue based on final information from the County – this resulted in nearly $1 million in additional new growth revenue, but $93,000 less of a judgment levy than was expected.
- New funding items:
- Five new patrol officers, four will join four other officers for bike patrol throughout the City, plus eight new case worker positions in the Police Department. This was a total increase to the budget of $1.2 million, including salaries, equipment, vehicles.
- $840,218 additional funding for capital improvement projects (CIP) – this brings the City’s CIP transfer to 7.75% (from the amount recommended in the Mayor’s Budget of 7.4%)
- 200,000 for equipment replacements for SLC-TV
- $62,500 adding to the funding for tree replacement
- $57,100 increase to the outdoor retailers convention
- $50,000 for an improved program for residents to access crime data.
- $50,000 for additional cost estimation services for capital projects.
- $25,000 to enhance sexual harassment training in the Fire and Police Departments.
- $25,000 toward studies of the building permit and capital improvement processes, to include a secret shopper or testing component
- $20,000 for a Downtown parks festival
- $15,000 to support the Sugar House fireworks event
- $14,000 additional funding for the Clean Team program in the Downtown
- $10,500 for pilot dog off-leash areas
- $6,250 for an outside hotline to receive fraud, waste & abuse calls.
- Some reductions included:
- ($215,764) in one-time savings by recognizing a later hire date for some new positions.
- Eliminated the $50,000 increase to funding for ground transportation secret shopper efforts – this leaves the existing $50,000 in funding
- $50,000 shifted back to the Water Fund for Mountain Accord participation
- ($450,000) reduction to the proposed structural safety program, which leaves $50,000 for its first year start
- ($200,000) reduction to reflect the contractual amount due for streetcar operations
- Use of $687,500 from fund balance to fund one-time expenses relating to some of these initiatives.
Overview of Proposed 2015-16 Budgets for City Departments
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