KAYSVILLE -- A citizens' group initiative aimed at restricting how Kaysville City Power Company revenues are allocated has been reviewed by City Attorney Felshaw King and forwarded to City Finance Manager Dean Storey for a fiscal impact statement.
The group is pushing for a Nov. 5 ballot initiative that would prevent the city council from using power rate revenues for anything other than to fund the operation of the city-owned power plant. In the past, city leaders have used the money to acquire real property.
But Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt questions the effort, leaning on the old adage of "if it ain't broke, why fix it?"
"We totally support (the citizen's group) constitutional right to petition, and we will follow the letter of the law as outlined in state statute," Hiatt said. "But I at least have to ask, is something broken?"
Kaysville offers its residents power rates lower than those of Rocky Mountain Power, and the second lowest tax rate in Davis County, Hiatt said.
When a petition comes forward, Hiatt said, it speaks to there being something wrong with the city. "But the evidence doesn't seem to show there is a problem," he said.
Residents are concerned that using power rate revenues to make outside purchases, such as spending $265,000 from rate revenues to hire three additional police officers, allows the city to bypass a truth-in-taxation hearing to make those same purchases using property tax increases, said Art Morley, spokesman for the citizens group.
Hiatt said there is nothing ethically or legally wrong with using enterprise funds to pay for services.
Residents are also upset the council in 2012 raised power rates by 9.65 percent because the reserves in the city's power fund were down, Morley said.
All the group is asking for is transparency, he said.
The petition was delivered to the city Feb. 25. Storey will now review the initiative to determine its fiscal impact to the city, Kaysville City Recorder Linda Ross said. Storey has 25 days to complete a fiscal impact statement that then must be attached to the initiative's signature petition signing sheets, Ross said.
The petition will require 1,609 certified signatures by April 15 in order to appear on the November ballot.