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Residents of Elk Ridge to see a budget increase

SHARE Residents of Elk Ridge to see a budget increase

The cost of running this town of 1,500 tucked in the south Utah County foothills will go up next fiscal year because of growth and an expected 10 percent raise for city employees.

A capital improvement plan totaling $135,086 will be added to the general fund budget of $558,329 and a sewer and water budget of $255,649. The current general fund budget is $476,477, while the combined water and sewer budget is $303,100. The combined water and sewer funds are decreasing because a new water tank is completed, but revenues from growth are projected to rise.Operating revenue in the water fund is expected to go from $132,520 to $136,700. In the sewer fund the projection is from $74,900 to $82,186. Those increases are all from growth, said Jan Davis, town recorder.

The final budget will be presented to the Town Council June 9 for adoption. If approved it will take effect July 1 for the 1998-99 fiscal year.

Most changes are related to a growth rate of about 15 percent annually, the document says.

The current property tax of .002301, which raised about $102,000, will be used as the basis to figure the next tax rate. Officials expect to raise $100,000 in property taxes in the next fiscal year. A bedroom community with no commercial tax base, Elk Ridge officials will adopt the budget subject to the receipt of the certified tax rate, Davis said.

The town is adopting the state uniform utility franchise, she said. That means utility franchise fees will go up to match increases charged by US WEST, Strawberry Electric Service District, Questar (which supplies natural gas) and cable television. Revenues will go up from $600 for the current fiscal year to $25,000 for the next fiscal year. That money will be used for roads.

Intergovernmental revenue from the state is anticipated to rise from $50,000 to $62,000 because of a change in the formula passed by the state Legislature for road funds.

Police costs are expected to double from the current expenditure of $4,133 to $8,600. The council budgeted $6,600 for this year. Elk Ridge contracts for police services from the county and will double patrol time, said Davis. The town also anticipates spending more money for animal control, up from $400 to $1,000. The town has already spent more than $700 this year on animal control.

While water and sewer service sales are rising because of growth, revenue from construction impact fees will likely decrease because of changes in the law. Wages are expected to rise following a salary survey of small towns that showed Elk Ridge wages were extremely low, said Davis. The town has seven employees, five of whom are part time.

The capital improvement plan includes six street projects, a tennis court and improvements to park trails and open space, three water projects, four sewer projects and improvements to the fire station.