ST. GEORGE – The St. George City Council approved a preliminary budget for the upcoming 2014-15 fiscal year Thursday night. The budget predicts gains of around 3 percent to the city’s general fund.
The city’s general fund is projected to be $50.5 million, with an overall budget of $200 million, City Manager Gary Esplin said.
“The last couple of years have brought a steady growth in general fund revenues back to pre-recession totals,” Esplin wrote in the budget cover letter and summary to the city council. “Based on review of major economic factors and projections from other government units, this budget is submitted reflecting modest increases in revenues and expenditures.”
The budget is balanced, as is required by state law, Esplin said, and while no new taxes are proposed, he said some city fees will need to be adjusted as the year progresses.
“Many fees in the Recreation Department are recommended to be increased to better cover out of pocket costs,” Esplin wrote. “Cemetery fees are recommended to increase cover costs, these fees have not been increased in years. Also included is an increase in daily parking fees at the Airport to go from $4 to $5. Additionally, an increase in water fees is also recommended.”
Among the items listed in the budget recommended for funding are: $3 million for the completion of the Mall Drive Bridge, $2.2 million for the pavement management program, $1.8 million for drainage backbone in the Washington Fields area, $1.8 million for widening and improvements to Indian Hills Drive, and a $900,000 match for the Red Hills-Bluff Street Interchange project.
Other items include an $850,000 regional pipeline payment, $1 million to replace a water storage tank in St. George Industrial Park, $315,000 for a remodel of the city’s Recreation Center, $300,000 for the All Abilities Park and $500,000 for SunTran bus operations.
The city will also put forth $300,000 for a new homeless shelter/resource center via funding received for a federal Community Development Block Grant.
Funding may also be allocated for a new fire station in the Little Valley area.
A full listing and summery of items discussed in the city’s proposed budget can be found here, or the City of St. George website. Copies are also available for review at the St. George City Hall at 175 North 200 East.
The proposed 2014-15 budget will be subject to a public hearing during May, and must be adopted by the City Council by June 22.
“This budget is the 39th one I have submitted for consideration by the Mayor and City Council,” Esplin wrote.
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