Infrastructure, budget big West Bountiful issues for primary candidates

Aug 10 2013 - 11:01pm

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Ken Romney
Bud Ingles
Gary Spillman
Dave Tovey
Mark Preece
Kelly Enquist
Alan Malan
Brady Tracy
Ken Romney
Bud Ingles
Gary Spillman
Dave Tovey
Mark Preece
Kelly Enquist
Alan Malan
Brady Tracy

WEST BOUNTIFUL -- One of Davis County's smallest cities is getting ready to elect two council members and a mayor.

Candidates -- including incumbent Ken Romney facing challengers Bud Ingles and Gary Spillman for mayor and incumbents Dave Tovey and Mark Preece battling Kelly Enquist, Alan Malan, Corey Sweat and Brady Tracy for city council -- say aging infrastructure and the budget are the largest issues ahead for the city of just more than 5,000 residents.

Romney said the biggest concern for the city right now is its infrastructure. He said, while he has been mayor, the city set a 20-year plan for improving roads and waterlines -- and he wants to see it through.

He said he's working to set timetables ahead of schedule so taxes can go back down.

"We're financially on our feet. We're paying off bonds. If we stay on track, keep spending under control, we'll be looking good," Romney said.

He also said the outlook for the golf course is good, as the city will make its last bond payment in September and expects course revenue to soon exceed its costs.

Ingles was born and raised in West Bountiful, so he has deep family roots there. He said he's running for mayor to make the city more efficient.

Ingles wants to increase revenue by expanding the tax base and said there are several promising areas where commercial and light industry can grow. He said a study should be conducted to see where and how much economic development the city can sustain.

Ingles said while he's not out to be a "hatchet man," he wants to look at various areas of the city to see where the budget can be handled more effectively.

Spillman is running for mayor because he wants to find out where money is really being spent and put it where it really needs to go. He said the city needs to set high priorities on issues such as the water system and not the golf course.

"They have the tendency to argue and waste tax dollars," Spillman said of the current city leaders.

Another concern of Spillman's is the Holly Refinery slowly infringing on neighborhoods.

The former refinery worker said he's not against the company, but careful monitoring is needed because the facility is so close to homes and small businesses.

On the council side of the primary election, Tovey said the city is in a good place financially and he wants to keep it on track.

"The residents have shouldered the pain of the tax increase and water rate increase, so we need to continue to do what's right for West Bountiful."

The city needs to focus on the water lines that need to be replaced and the roadwork that needs to be done, Tovey said.

His hope is that the burden can be taken off the taxpayers and replaced with new revenue from developments.

Preece's goal is for the city to address infrastructure problems while improving public services, but he said doing so may require a higher tax rate.

He said enough capital needs to be available to make road repairs in the event of a massive water leak or other scenario.

Another reason to increase revenue is to improve police service, which Preece said the city needs. He is opposed to the idea of cutting that service and turning to Davis County for law enforcement. He said the city can handle the task with the proper funds.

Preece said he wants to make clear that he's not a "tax and spend" guy, but there's not enough revenue to continue the city's quality of service.

Semi-retired business owner Enquist said the city needs to take a new direction. His biggest concern is with the city's water supply.

"West Bountiful used to be notorious for having too much; now it's not enough," he said.

The city should seek alternatives for water, especially in the wake of a failed well drilling, Enquist said.

Another issue he would like to tackle is making sure that tax money is being used responsibly. The 2011 tax increase was meant to all go toward infrastructure maintenance, and Enquist wants to make sure that's the case.

"The city needs to operate more like a business where citizens are the stockholders," he said.

Malan said the city needs to keep expenses down. One place he doesn't want to see any more spending is in Lakeside Golf Course.

He said he understands it's hard for golf courses to turn a profit, but the city needs to focus on doing a better job.

Sweat ( no photo available) is a self-employed metal worker who is running for city council to keep government spending to a minimum and keep taxes from rising.

"As a taxpayer, I have a hard time seeing justification for the tax revenue and what's returned," he said.

Sweat said he's concerned that the city golf course seems to be generating more deficit than profit. He also wants to keep the community smaller and family-oriented.

Tracy, a 26-year-old computer technician, said he's running for council to get spending under control.

He said several areas of the city can cut costs, including road maintenance, for which $250,000 was spent on asphalt and sealant. While there's roadwork to be done, there are ways to do it for less, Tracy said.

He said another place to trim would be the $1 million police budget. Given the size of the city, it doesn't need that large of a staff, Tracy said.

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