Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski presented her budget proposal to the City Council Tuesday evening. The plan includes $8 million for road and sidewalk repairs, $3 million for affordable housing initiatives, and proposed a plan to increase sewer rates by 30% over five years to pay for a new treatment plant.
She says current waste management infrastructure needs to be replaced.
“This is a once in a generation project,” Biskupski told the city council. “Our current treatment plant is over 50 years old and the expectation would be for new plant to serve Salt Lake City for another 50 years.”
The mayor’s plan also includes moving the Rose Park Golf Course into the general fund—at the cost of $400,000. She believes that would create more opportunities for recreation on the space, but some city council members, including Derek Kitchen, aren’t so sure.
“The council made it pretty clear a few months ago that the administration should not be looking for a subsidy for golf, and that’s kind of what this looks like,” Kitchen said.
Biskupski’s budget proposal did not include plans for an infrastructure bond, which councilwoman and Redevelopment Agency chair Lisa Adams has expressed interest in.
“I’m pleased to hear her acknowledge that infrastructure needs to be dealt with,” Adams said. “But the best time to bond was last year, the next best time is this year, and the less good time is next year.”
The mayor budgeted extra funding for homeless services and affordable housing, as well as a property tax increase to fund the city’s libraries. The Salt Lake City Council will spend the next 6-7 weeks developing a final budget.