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MANTI ADOPTS 1992-93 BUDGET WITH 12% PROPERTY TAX BOOST

Manti City has adopted a 1992-93 budget that one City Council member calls a "share-the-blame" budget six weeks after its July 1 due date.

He termed it such because it provides for a 12 percent property tax increase, an action the council approved reluctantly.The increase, forcing the average homeowner to pay about $10 more in property taxes, will raise about $6,000 more for the general fund.

During the new fiscal year, the city will spend $1,986,882 compared with last year's $1,980,300. A one-time state grant of $48,750 for park improvements helped sweeten last year's budget.

The new budget funds a 4.5 percent pay increase for city employees who haven't had a raise in two years, $7,000 toward the replacement costs of a $65,000 ambulance, with the rest coming from a $2,000 contribution by the town of Sterling, $20,000 in grant money and the balance in Manti Ambulance Associations accumulated reserves.

The budget also provides $28,000 for resurfacing 500 West to 900 North, $20,000 for repairs to Jet's Reservoir, $15,000 for repairing Main Street water lines, and $14,000 to chip-seal about two miles of city streets and an increase from $4 to $5 for volunteer fire department members who participate in drills.

What the budget doesn't provide for are two big-ticket items that have a high priority on the want list: $42,000 for chip sealing another six miles of streets and $10,500 to replace the overlay on seven blocks of streets.

But these two street projects may force the council to reopen its budget sometime during the year. The council has asked City Manager Bill Mickelson to study two possible avenues to what it considers an urgent street problem.

One approach would have the city take out a low-interest loan for street improvements and then commit several years of state road money to pay off the loan.

The other approach would be the imposition of a 4.75 percent franchise fee on utilities with the revenue going for street rehabilitation.