Mayor's Message: 2020-2021 Mayor's Budget Presented to City Council

Mayor Trent StaggsBy Mayor Trent Staggs

After extensive consultation with city administration, I submitted the Mayor’s Budget for fiscal year 2020-2021 for the consideration of the City Council. I believe this budget is fiscally conservative, with no fee increases to our residents, and accounts for my administrative priorities while simultaneously emphasizing the completion of the balance of the governing body’s strategic priorities. The council will now work to finalize the city budget by June 16.

In recent months our city has not been immune to the global economic impacts of the COVID-19 health pandemic. However, thanks to smart planning during previous years we have been able to mitigate many of those impacts, keep fees low for our residents, and still maintain healthy fund balances for any other unforeseen circumstances.

Here are a few highlights from the Mayor’s Budget:

  • Total budgeted expenditures are $51.7 million, excluding transfers. Almost the entire increase from last year’s budget of $44.8 million is a result of one-time capital projects for water and storm water that are driven by state and federal directives.
  • General fund budgeted expenditures are $10.2 million, essentially flat from last year’s budgeted general fund expenditures. Looking back five years, General Fund expenditures have only increased 7.3% from the budgeted $9.5 million in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. A remarkable figure that is even far below the average inflation rate, and a testament to the careful stewardship exhibited by our elected officials and employees for public funds.
  • There are no new fee increases included in this budget, a trend I’m proud to continue for the last several years.
  • Although sales tax projections for the 2019-2020 budget year are expected to climb to $7.9 million, or 41% increase over the last five years, we are projecting a 5% decline this upcoming fiscal year due to the economic challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our city is in a much better position given the makeup of our retail sales tax base than many other cities which are projecting even steeper declines.
  • In order to support the business community I have created the Riverton Economic Recovery Initiative. The initiative’s ultimate goal is to get the local economy back on its positive trajectory by helping local businesses address challenges stemming from COVID-19 closures mandated by Salt Lake County.
  • Our city’s total full-time employee count is 166, which equates to 3.62 FTE’s per 1000 in population. Our resourcefulness and dedication of our employees allows us do more with less in comparison to surrounding cities.
  • This budget includes $1.9 million in road maintenance funding and $2.1 million in new road construction funding from grants received from the state and county. The largest projected expense will be $1 million which is our contribution to UDOT for the 12600 South, Bangerter interchange project.
  • There is approximately $1.3 million committed this year towards capital projects. To include roughly $500 thousand in playground and park upgrades, and $465 thousand to our civic and community center to replace our HVAC systems, power generation plans and the potential upgrade of the auditorium in conjunction with the Riverton Arts Council.

The priorities outlined in our strategic plan have guided the development of this budget. More than ever before I believe our city is well situated to weather the storms of any unforeseen challenges, and well positioned to continue delivering the essential services our residents rely upon. I’m grateful for the dedicated work of our city council. Their vision and dedication to the city have greatly aided in our city’s progress over these last few years. The commitment and significant contributions of our city employees should also be recognized. I’m grateful for their unrelenting support and dedication to serving our great residents.

I look forward to and encourage you to provide your feedback on this budget.

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