Despite a last-minute snag, the Salt Lake City Council passed a $273 million plan for a balanced budget Tuesday night. The lean budget focuses mainly on essentials with an emphasis on infrastructure, road maintenance and homeless services.
City staff discovered a shortfall of just over a million dollars late last week. That deficit will be made up by current and projected property taxes as well as a small dip into the city’s rainy day fund.
“I’m pleased my administration and the council could work together on funding needs that support of quality of life, while still demonstrating fiscal responsibility for Salt Lake City residents,” Mayor Biskupski said in a statement.
Included in the budget is a plan to increase sewer rates by 30% over five years. That will fund a new sewage treatment plant in order to comply with federal water quality standards.
The council also approved a 21% property tax increase to contribute $3.9 million in revenue to the city’s library fund. The money will go toward a library maintenance fund and operations cost for the city’s two new library facilities.
Officers on Salt Lake City’s police force asked for a 4.5% pay raise this year, but settled for the budgeted 1% cost of living increase. Salt Lake Police Association president Stephen Hartney said the police union will negotiate for a more substantial wage increase next year.
The city council also funded $400,000 in one-time money for the city’s golf enterprise fund. Mayor Jackie Biskupski had asked for the Rose Park Golf Course to be transferred to the general fund under the parks department, but the city council left the course in the city’s golf enterprise fund with the $400,000 subsidy. Council chair Stan Penfold says the council will review long-term options for the golf fund through the summer.