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$1.4 MILLION ALPINE BUDGET INCLUDES FRANCHISE-TAX HIKE

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When the City Council adopted the 1996-97 fiscal budget it said the city staff could adjust it internally to increase funding for a new administrator.

Meanwhile, a tax increase for the 1997-98 fiscal year is looming.In adopting the $1.4 million budget on Tuesday, the council raised the franchise tax from 3 percent to 6 percent for cable television and Mountain Fuel. The current budget is $1.1 million.

The council had budgeted $30,000 to hire a city manager with a planning background, but Councilwoman Phoebe Blackham said that wasn't enough. Rather than find the additional $6,000 then, the council instructed staff to make the adjustment without affecting the final figure. Just where that adjustment will come was left as an unknown.

The city has never hired an administrator before and wants to include planning duties in the position since it also lacks a city planner.

Blackham also expressed concern that the city was not budgeting for refurbishing city hall or putting much into the road budget to take care of major problems. Nor has the city budgeted for a plan to handle open space in future land planning, or money for trails, she said.

She also asserted that it was negligent for the city to fail to budget for overtime to pay police for handling traffic during the upcoming opening of the new temple in American Fork for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Looking forward to a possible tax increase the following year the council assigned Councilman Don Watkins to work with citizens to come up with the best way to do that.