Manti increases budget to take advantage of anticipated 11-percent rise in revenues
By Collin Overton
MANTI—As Manti City approaches fiscal year 2020, it looks to spend a little more next year.
Manti city council adopted their next yearly budget at their regularly scheduled meeting on June 5. The new budget sets aside $2,285,750 for the general fund, up 2.67 percent from last year’s $2,226,300.
With utility and municipal building authority expenses factored in, the difference is roughly the same, from $5,162,090 this year to $5,286,252 next year.
The new budget also shows some fluctuation in parts of the general fund. Part of that is due to reallocation every year, City Manager Kent Barton said.
Some sectors, like the airport and senior center went up 65 and 36 percent respectively this year as a result.
“This year we had some reallocation based on where we think people are spending their time and their resources,” Barton said.
At the airport, for example, city staff have had to spend more time clearing snow on the runways and doing more upkeep, he said.
Health services will be budgeted less by 40 percent. The dip mainly comes from insurance costs for the Manti Ambulance Association that the city is no longer covering, Barton said.
The Manti City Building went up $53,800 (72 percent) to reallocate costs of a recent facelift, as did a $7,100 decrease in the budget for the City Complex.
The city projects an 11 percent increase in revenue for licensing and permits, which encompasses things like business licenses and registration for animals. Barton said revenue for licensing went up last year, and the city expects the trend to continue as they tighten down on animal control and get more dogs licensed.
“Every year when we set our budget we’ll look at what the immediate past history has been, and see if we’re having a trend,” Barton said. “We’ve been having more people license dogs in the city than we have previously. We’ve been making a concerted effort to get more people licensing; we’ve been doing more animal control. A lot of the animals that we pick up are not licensed, and we require those animals to be licensed when we pick them up.”
Revenue for services, like the public pool, rent, library books and youth sports is projected to jump by about $81,000 (14 percent). Much of the hike in services is increased registration for youth sports and the recent sale of more grave sites, Barton said. Sales in this line account for about 22 percent of Manti’s overall revenue.
Prior to accepting the new budget, city council made adjustments to the current year budget in the water and sewer funds. The water fund increased from $500,000 to $628,000 to account for a pre-payment of a water bond, which the city refinanced last year. This is because the city was recently offered a more attractive interest rate that would allow them to pay the bonds off 11 years sooner and save about $300,000, Barton said.
On the sewer side, the fund increased from $302,600 to $597,600 to cover an unplanned purchase of property for Phase 2 of Manti’s waste water management program.
Those funds were already in a reserve account for that purpose, but the property had not been identified until recently, Barton said. The city will likely close on that property before the end of the month and start the project next year.
In keeping with past budget years, the council rolled in revenue from the city power plant. Next year’s electric fund transfer brings $298,300 into the budget, slightly down from the past year’s $317,350. The transfer of funds accounts for slightly over 10 percent of the budget.
At the meeting, citizens asked the council how the city planned to garner revenue after the last Mormon Miracle Pageant.
“What is Manti going to be known for?” resident Sam Blatter asked.
Councilman Jason Vernon said the development of the Manti City Sports Complex would bode well for the local economy, to which councilman Gary Chidester agreed. Chidester added that a mountain bike quest, as well as water rafting may soon be under consideration to raise Manti’s status as an outdoor destination.