Manti council approves budget

Volunteers with Manti Trail Builders work on the 5.7-mile of trails near Gunnison Reservoir. Pictured are: (L-R): Kai Adamson, Matthew Bishop, Jared Christensen, Jesse Howick, James Meade, Finnian Olsen, Jared Gerber and Aiden Gowans.

MANTI—Following three public hearings on the budget, the Manti City Council approved adjusted budgets for the past and coming year and approved a $2,416,725 general fund budget for 2021-22.

Last year’s budget was unusual because it included revenues received from the government for COVID.

In 2019-20, Manti’s total general fund budget was $2,074,247, and the 2020-21 budget was set at $2,179,800, but inter-governmental revenues added $604,398, and those funds had to be spent in 2021 for COVID-related items, so there were $550,198 in expenses from the general fund. That kicked the current year to date general fund budget to $2,563,829.

The council also approved two transfer of Enterprise funds, $250,000 from the power fund, and $75,000 from the sewer fund, into the general fund. That compares with transfers last year of $401,000 from the two funds. Manti makes these transfers every year.

Next year’s budget shows revenues from taxes at $866,500, compared to $869,344 last year. Intergovernmental revenues are estimated at $442,000, and charges for services will go from $404,855 to $674,100. Other budget amounts are like last year’s.

Areas where expenses show changes is for public safety, going from $202,559 in 2021 to $285,500 in 2022; highway expenses will drop from $130,783 to $74,500; but class “C” road expenses will go from $103,171 to $225,000. Pool expenses will go up about $32,000; and cemetery expenses will go from $86,860 to $120,300.

Total expenses come to $2,200,650, so net revenues over expenses is anticipated to be $216,075. Manti also maintains a $50,000 in reserve funds.

In Enterprise funds, it is anticipated that water funds will see a profit of $107,914, sewer funds will see a $135,660 profit, and power funds will see a $22,160 profit.

The overall budget for 2021-22 will be $6,060,285, compared to $5,007,561 from last year, an increase of about 21 percent.

Blake DeMill reported on the city’s project of getting a new 46,000 kW breaker, which acts as a buffer between Manti City and the Rocky Mountain Power system. Recently the city suffered a power outage which also impacted other cities, and the new break will help alleviate that.

The city is also purchasing new cloud-based automated electric and water meters. “Currently, water meters are read every six months, and the monthly charges are averaged. However, if a leak occurred, we might not know about it for several months; and lots of water could be lost in the interim,” DeMill said.  “The new system will be more accurate and automated.”

With the electric meters, Manti is one of the few cities that still read meters directly. “Human errors and turnover with meter readers is a continual problem,” Councilwoman Mary Wintch said. “We anticipate much improved accuracy with the new meters.” The city approved the purchase of 500 new meters.

Steve Gerber, a representative of Manti Trail Builders gave a report on progress of the bike trails being built near Gunnison Reservoir. Gerber thanked Manti City for donating 16 loads of road base and asked if the city would consider donating another 25 loads.

“The trail is 95 percent finished and inspected, and we are already getting lots of interested traffic about the project,” Gerber said. The group is approaching the county and other cities for help with the pit zone, where participants would park their vehicles.

“We have had over 2,000 hours of labor and 1,600 volunteer hours on the 5.7-mile trail,” he said. “Manti telephone and other companies have also donated backhoe time. We plan to have the trail finished in October.”

David Craig asked the council if he could pay his impact fees now on his property where he plans to build a home. He has improved the property with fencing, and planted trees, but is concerned with not having enough water.

Councilman Jason Vernon said the city’s ordinance said impact fees were not assessed until a building permit is issued. Craig is postponing building due to high prices of building materials, and he was asking for an exception. The council agreed to continue the discussion with Craig.

With Sanpete’s fire danger at the state’s highest level, the council asked citizens to use great caution with any fires (open campfires are banned), smoking around combustible grasses, welding, use of motorcycles and ATVs and fireworks.

Finally, Kent Barton, city administrator, told the council that the city is preparing to do a master water plan study, anticipating city growth that will require the best use of water in the future.

The council’s next meeting was set for Wednesday, July 7 at 6 p.m.