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BUDGET PLAN SUBMITTED FOR TAYLORSVILLE

Financial questions remain and a citizens group is still scrutinizing the numbers, but Mayor LaVelle Prince has submitted a budget proposal to the City Council that includes expenses of $15 million.

"There have been no major surprises," Prince said. But several factors have complicated the way Taylorsville has to figure the budget for its first full year of formal operations.The city expects about $9 million in revenue during this budget year.

In this new city with fledgling officials, the budget is one in a slew of complicated financing and procedural systems officials must figure out.

Because the county is on a different fiscal year, the new city won't totally control its incoming and outgoing expenses until the last day of 1997. For example, about six months' worth of property taxes - about $1 million - isn't in this budget because of this fiscal year overlap, Prince said.

"What it means is that we'll have to have some constraints on some building and recreation and parks project we might otherwise have tried to do right away," said Prince.

A $6 million loan will infuse the city's coffers and tide it over until funding evens out.

As figures have jelled, there's not much difference between what the county and incorporation committee figured would be generated during a study conducted in 1994. And the county and other companies have been good about providing accurate estimates for pending contracts, Prince said.

The city is close to settling six contracts with the county for the city's major services, City Attorney John Brems told the council earlier this month.

The city borrowed $750,000 to carry it during the six-month period from January to July 1996 and will have to refinance that amount in a $6 million loan it expects to finalize soon to even out the cash flow while funds that have flushed into county coffers find their way to Taylorsville.

Members of the five-person council are looking closely at two areas in the city's budget. One, the fund balance, is the equivalent of a rainy day fund; the other is the contingency fund. Prince has proposed allocating between 5 and 6 percent of the budget to each of those funds.

The council, which already has shown conservative spending philosophies on several occasions, may push to bank more money.

The state requires cities to hold 5 percent in a rainy day fund. Cities are allowed to have as much as 18 percent in that fund.

Councilman Jim Dunnigan says he wants to be conservative and sock the money away - the maximum 18 percent for two years. "I don't think we can know what we'll face in this first year as a new city."

He's as concerned as anyone else about money for crime prevention programs, parks and recreation opportunities but says the council has an obligation to establish a base, "so the city will be in good shape in the future."

Councilwoman Janice Auger, who supervises the city's Budget Review Committee, said she'd like to see 10 percent put away for three reasons.

First, officials have estimated all costs because the city is just getting started. A financial cushion is smart in case those estimates are off. Likewise, it's just a good idea to have a little more than the minimum mandatory amount in the kitty, she said.

"The third thing is that we're in an excellent economy now," Auger said.

"If we have to spend all the money now, what are we going to do when the economy takes a downturn? We don't know when it will, but we do know it will sometime."

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Proposed Budget: TAYLORSVILLE

General fund: $9,127,116

1996-97

Where it comes from:

Sales tax: $5,408,000

Property tax: $1,403,116

Cable franchise tax: $138,000

License permits: $429,000

Intergovernment revenue: $1,281,000

Fines & forfeitures: $300,000

Where it goes:

Public safety: $2,908,190

Public works: $1,349,500

Community devel.: $688,000

Administrative service: $675,645

Fund balance and contingency: $758,691

Other: $758,691

Tax/fee increases:

None