NORTH OGDEN - Residents will be paying $4.69 more per month to cover depreciation costs for water, sewer and storm water services. The city council voted unanimously for the increase as a part of its final budget recently.
Residents won't start seeing the increase for a month or so until the council approves the rate increase again when it approves the updated consolidated fee schedule next month.
The increase is due in part to the $1.5 million being taken from the enterprise fund to pay for the public works building. Rather than bond for the building, the council voted to take the money from different areas in the budget, depleting the enterprise fund budget. So, residents will still be paying some out of pocket for the building, just not in the form of a bond or property tax increase.
Councilman Brent Taylor suggested it would be wise to try to earmark the money collected for depreciation for specific items that may be needed in the future, but city finance director Bryan Steele said that wasn't possible under the law.
Councilman Wade Bigler said he didn't want other councils to come in and spend money on things other than depreciation.
Mayor Richard Harris said there are specific things those funds have to be used for, like roads, sewer systems or water infrastructure. "We're not going to use it for a park," Harris said.
The public works building does fall within those parameters in some ways because it is a dilapidated infrastructure.
Taylor said he wished that not so much money had been taken from the fund for the public works building. "It was my idea to use some of the money, but not so much," he said, the rest perhaps coming from bonding. That way, residents wouldn't see such a big hit and the funds wouldn't be so depleted in case there is an emergency in the sewer, water or storm water departments.
"I feel it will hamstring capital projects and we are just kicking the can down the road," he said in respect to building the fund back to where it needs to be.