Manti approves $2.4M general-fund budget; total budget including utilities goes over $6M

Manti City Roads Supervisor AJ Mower stands beside the freshly refinished 500 West.

MANTI—The Manti City Council has approved a general-fund budget of $2.4 million for the coming fiscal year, 11 percent more than the budget approved a year ago.

Meanwhile, the budget for the total city, including the water, sewer and electric utilities as well as the general fund, peaked at more $6 million for the first time ever. The total city is up 12 percent from the budget approved a year ago.

The fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. So the previous budget covered July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. The new budget went into effect July 1 and will run through June 30, 2022.

On June 16, before all the numbers were approved, the council held three public hearings. The first was on final adjustments to the 2020-21 budget to bring the original estimates in line with what the city actually received and spent during the year.

Mainly because the city received about $310,000 from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), all of which had to be spent before the end of calendar 2020, the adjusted general-fund budget for last year ended up at $2.56 million, $384,000 higher than the original budget of $2.18 million.

The second hearing was on whether the council should be permitted to budget a transfer of  $325,000 in profits from its sewer, water and electric utilities to the general fund to support general government during the coming fiscal year.

The city has used money from utilities to buttress its general fund for decades. Notably, the $325,000 transfer for next year was down from $410,000 that was budgeted last year and $376,000 that had actually been transferred as of April 30, 2021.

Finally, a public hearing was held on the $2.4-million general-fund budget and the $6.06-million budget total city budget for the coming year.

In an interview, Kent Barton, city manager, described the 2021-22 budget as “pretty much business as usual.” However, there were several notable changes between next year and last year.

On July 1, power rates went up 4.7 percent. Barton said the increase is needed to cover increases in costs the Utah Municipal Power Agency (UMPA) , the city’s power provider, to purchase power from other generators. The increases get passed on to Manti City.

The shutdown of the Keystone Pipeline is affecting energy costs, Barton said. “We’re seeing it at the gas pump, we’re seeing it in different energy commodities.”

The budget for the Power Department shows projected revenue of $2.52 million, up 8 percent from last year and projected expenses of just under $2.5 million, up 10 percent. If those projections are realized, it would leave the operation with a $22,160 profit next year, down from about in $40,000 profit last year.

In the general fund, the city budgeted for $2.18 million in revenues last year and $2.16 million in expenditures. That left “net revenue,” essentially a profit, of $22,815.

Over the course of the year, things changed quite a bit because of the CARES money and because taxes and other revenue came in higher than expected. So the adjusted budget showed net revenue of nearly $369,000.

For the coming year, the city is budgeting general-fund revenue of $2.41 million and expenditures of $2.2 million. That would leave net revenues of $216,000. (Notably, while revenues are up 11 percent from last year’s budget, expenditures are up just 2.2 percent).

“We tentatively plan to use it (the net revenue) for infrastructure—water or wastewater”—but no specific project has been identified yet, Barton said.

Another area of next year’s budget that is up from last year is “Class C roads,” designated streets for which the city receives state and federal maintenance assistance.

The Class C road budget is up from $195,000 last year to $225,000 this year, a $30,000 increase.

The city recently finished leveling, widening and putting down 2 inches of asphalt on 1.1 miles of 500 West. The project extended from 600 South to 500 North. It was different from other projects in that it involved putting down the new asphalt rather than simply chip-sealing the road, according to Cory Hatch, public works director.

“We try to cycle through so every street is getting chip-sealed every five to seven years,” Hatch said.