Fueled by rising tax revenue and bond sales, the Farmington City Council Wednesday outlined an aggressive building program for the coming year as it adopted the city's 1996-97 budget.
Overall spending by the city is up 3.5 percent from last year with the general fund totaling $2.76 million for the coming year, compared to last year's $2.66 million.The city collected $963,000 in sales tax revenue the past year, a figure expected to rise to just over $1 million this year. Property tax revenue is projected at $485,000, up from $457,000.
About 16 percent of the general fund revenue will go to capital improvement projects, a number that just a few years ago before the sales tax boom was unthinkable, City Manager Max Forbush said.
Among projects the city plans to tackle in the coming year are the construction of a swimming pool in the downtown park for around $870,000; acquisition of 14 acres in the Oakridge area for a park, at $222,000; and, acting as the municipal building authority, construction of an office building downtown for $4.3 million, which will be leased to the Davis School District.
This will be done with no property tax increase, Forbush said. The city is raising some of its design review fees on subdivision plans and is passing along a $1 per month sewer district increase.
Plans to spend $118,000, half of which will come from a state grant, to extend the city's trail system along Farmington Creek toward the Great Salt Lake drew criticism from one property owner at Wednesday's public hearing.
Harlow Wilcox suggested the trail might be a nuisance to property owners in the area and that it would only serve a small portion of the city's population.
Mayor Greg Bell defended the plan, saying the portions of the trail that are complete now are heavily used and surveys of city residents show strong support for more jogging and walking trails.
The trail, when the city's portion is complete, will run from the mouth of Farmington Canyon, past Farmington Pond and then Lagoon, following the creek out to the bird refuge at the edge of the Great Salt Lake.
By going on up Farmington Canyon, it will eventually connect the lake to the Great American Trail running along the spine of the Wasatch Mountains.
Wilcox was also critical of the swimming pool project, noting the estimated cost of $869,000 is higher than the $750,000 in bonds approved last year by voters.
The first round of bids on the project came in at around $950,000 and were rejected. After scaling the project back, it was rebid, and the council will meet July 2 to consider the new bids.
Forbush said the project includes other improvements in the park, including new restrooms.
The $750,000 in bonds approved by voters was never a guaranteed maximum cost, Bell said. "We always anticipated it would cost more than that and we would have to come up with some of the money from other funding sources," the mayor told Wilcox.
Other capital projects on the city's list include $125,000 to build sidewalks along Main between 500 and 600 North; $95,000 for street overlays; and more than $50,000 in storm sewer projects.
Forbush said the city, aided by a federal grant, will hire a new police officer, and city workers will receive a 5.45 percent raise. Some other salary adjustments were also made, Forbush said, the result of a survey.
The 14 acres of park land in the Oakridge area the city will acquire is part of a complex development agreement being negotiated that involves several property owners and a developer that wants to build 80 condominiums north of the Kmart shopping center on U.S. 89 and Shepard Lane.
General fund: $2,757,000
General fund: $2,663,000
Where it comes from:
Sales tax: $1.021,000
Last year: $964,000
Property tax: $485,000
Last year: $457,000
Franchise tax: $342,000
Last year: $345,000
Federal/state grants: $255,000
Last year: $227,000
Where it goes:
Last year: $576,000
Last year: $159,000
Last year: $351,000
Last year: $227,000
Monthly residential sewer rates up $1