LAYTON — Water rates and garbage rates are expected to go up as part of a budget for the coming fiscal year.
Details of the city’s new budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year have not been finalized, but the facts to emerge show a potential increase in water rates as well as a move to increases fees associated with garbage pickup.
The spending plan also calls for city officials to hold the line on property taxes.
The city’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.
The public will get its first formal look at the spending outline on May 3, when a public hearing is scheduled and the council is expected to adopt a tentative budget. The council has until June 22 to adopt a final budget plan, by state statute, and City Manager Alex Jensen said the council will likely finalize the budget package at the council’s scheduled June 21 meeting.
Jensen said the budget will be similar to the last few years, with general fund revenues down, and some juggling to meet infrastructure needs within the city. The city has not raised property taxes since the 1970s.
“It’s a very conservative budget I think. We’re trying to figure what are our needs and live within our means,” Jensen said.
The potential change in water rates comes because of an agreement the city has had in place with Weber Basin Water District, which gave the city the first right of refusal on access to more water. Jensen said exercising the option will cost the city about $1 million each of the next two years, which a new fee would cover.
The fee would also help make improvements to the city’s water system, he said.
“It will put us in a fabulous position down the road,” Jensen said of the acquisition.
The potential change in garbage rates comes after the city budget has simply swallowed increased costs in refuse service for the past few years and the enterprise fund needs more revenue to be self-
sustaining, the city manager said.
Tracy Probert, city finance director, described the proposed budget as definitely conservative. He said budget meetings have been held and most of the spending plan is ready to go.
Jensen said there will not be any increases in personnel for the coming fiscal year and there will be no cost-of-living adjustments for the city’s 289 full-time employees, but small merit increases will be recommended.
Other budget detailsinclude:
• The city’s self-insurance program may take a hit. The program’s reserve fund was down to $1.3 million in January this year, and there has been talk about raising premiums on city employees of $6.99 per pay period, in order to increase the reserve fund by $250,000.
• The city will continue to subsidize the city swimming pool with revenues from the general fund. Jensen claims the subsidy is a quality-of-life issue.
• City officials will attempt to keep up a rainy day fund. State law allows a reserve of 5 to 18 percent of a municipality’s revenue, and Jensen said Layton typically has a reserve between 8 and