LAYTON — City leaders approved a $59.6 million budget for the coming fiscal year, which holds the line on taxes but does raise some fees.
The budget calls for a $2.30 increase in the base water fee per household per month, going from $10.55 to $12.85 for residential customers. There also will be a monthly increase of 60 cents per house for trash pickup for first cans, now $10.70 per month, and additional can fees are increased 45 cents to $8.10 per month.
Sewer fees will also go up for city users during the new budget year, to $8 a month per residential connection. That same fee is scheduled to be raised each of the next three years as well. The city collects the district fees as part of its utility bills, though it does not initiate the fee increase.
The city’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30, so the new fees go into effect with the new fiscal year.
The water increase is linked to a move by city officials to buy water shares from Weber Basin Water District, which were part of a negotiated agreement made 10 years ago.
Alex Jensen, city manager, said the shares will cost the city about $1 million each of the next two years. He said the fee will also help make improvements to the city’s water system.
The change in garbage rates comes after the city budget has simply swallowed increase costs in refuse service for the past few years and the enterprise fund needs more revenue to be self-sustaining, the city manager said.
The budget does not call for any increase in property taxes. The city has not raised property taxes since the 1970s.
“This is a very well-proposed budget, well within our means and it will be balanced,” Mayor Stephen Curtis said of the outline.
No one spoke at a public hearing on the budget proposal.
The biggest single revenue source outlined in the spending guideline is sales tax revenue. The budget projects the city should capture $11.23 million in sales and use tax, in comparison to $10.98 million for the current fiscal year. Property taxes are expected to generate $6.1 million for the city. Energy taxes are expected to provide an additional $3.5 million in revenue.
From a revenue standpoint, the budget does include a 1.6 percent hike for potential merit pay increases for some of the city’s 289 full-time employees and also includes more funding for retirement program costs, even though the benefits are unchanged, according to Tracy Probert, city finance director. The budget actually reduces the amount of full-time staff for the coming year by one in comparison to the existing budget. One computer specialist position in the finance department has been eliminated.
Curtis and members of the city council praise