Commercial growth in West Jordan has not kept up with residential growth, leaving the city tight on cash as it plans for the next fiscal year.
"Our biggest frustration is that we are growing so quickly," said Assistant City Manager Penny Atkinson. "The budgets are really, really tight because the growth has been mostly in residential, and residential just doesn't pay for itself."Atkinson, who put the 1996-97 proposed budget together, said the budget is similar to last year but doesn't have the revenue for as many new hires.
"We can always use more people in every department. We are struggling to stay on top of things. We are doing the best we can," Atkinson said.
Another area that will have to remain in the wish-list category is transportation, especially roads on the city's west side where much of the new residential growth is taking place.
"All of our roads need a lot of help," Atkinson said. "Transportation is obviously an issue. We're try-ing to keep up with that the best we can."
Atkinson said the city would like to widen much of 7800 South. Instead there is only money to widen a stretch from 2200 West to 2700 West.
To offset the cost of residential growth, the city is putting a new emphasis on economic development.
"We restructured the economic development office last year. We are working earnestly to bring new business in. There's a list of prospects out there, it just takes time," Atkinson said.
The short list of new hires is slated to include a new inspector and engineer in the developmentservices department.
Impact fees and taxes stemming from the residential growth did help. The growth gave the city $3 million more for its general fund than last year. Permits were the single biggest increase from last year - more than $1 million.
The money will help pay for inflation, Atkinson said. For example, the police department's budget went up more than $500,000 - much due to inflation, Atkinson said.
Despite the increase, West Jordan Public Safety Director Ken McGuire said his department's budget is relatively flat this year. The increase is paying for a redistribution of the department's fleet and computer costs.
New storage tanks will lead the city's capital projects, which are not included in the general fund. Widening on 9000 South will also continue.
A public hearing will be held Tuesday, June 4, on the proposed budget. The City Council is expected to adopt the budget June 18.
Budget: WEST JORDAN
General fund: $16,250,050
General fund: $13,996,609
Where it comes from:
Last year: $8,524,775
License & permits: $2,045,500
Last year: $1,010,500
Service charges: $2,448,257
Last year: $2,133,207
Last year: $943,550
Fines and forfeitures: $620,000
Last year: $590,077
Where it goes:
Police division: $2,347,688
Last year: $1,846,652
Fire division: $2,015,579
Last year: $1,666,237
Streets division: $1,284,334
Last year: $1,030,976
Detective division: $955,571
Last year: $880,322
Class C roads: $1,200,451
Last year: $1,235,000