Spring City seeks to balance budget while adding new positions in police, fire and utilities departments
For the Messenger
SPRING CITY—Would the cost of hiring a fulltime city treasurer more than pay for itself and other Spring City budgetary needs if that treasurer was successful in finding other sources of income for the city?
That question is one that some members of the Spring City Council wrestled with but ultimately set aside for further consideration.
With the end of one fiscal year and the start of another soon approaching (on July 1), the city council mulled over how to create a balanced budget, particularly given the recently created position of fulltime police and fire chief the city must now pay for.
The city is also seeking to hire an apprentice lineman, further increasing employee costs for the city.
As it is, the current year’s budget required a nearly $180,000 infusion from the city’s electric, water and sewer funds. Prior to the city council meeting, the council held a public hearing on making those transfers (about $58,000 from each of the three accounts) which were later approved.
How then to balance, then—especially in light of Spring City’s minimal business-tax base—an enlarged budget?
It was in this context that Spring City Treasurer Lurlynn Potter, who now works part-time, made a proposal that might at first seem counterintuitive: Hire her fulltime.
Potter made a case for allowing her to research potential funding sources for the city, such as writing grant proposals and promoting tourism. However, to do this over her existing workload would make her a fulltime employee, which would add an even further $19,000 to the city’s budget.
Council members bantered the question among themselves, asking, “Would the cost of a fulltime treasurer be worth the expense?”
But Potter’s proposal had implications for the both sides of the budget fence, income as well as expenses.
She reviewed the income received by grants by other communities in the area, from a low of $300,000 in Moroni to over $1 million in both Fairview and Mt. Pleasant. She also noted her own track record of finding funds when she spent two years as Snow College’s alumni and donor-relations manager.
Council members discussed the possibility of making Potter’s position fulltime on a one-year trial basis, but ultimately wanted the full council’s input. The idea was set aside until the council’s next meeting when all members could be present.
Another budget item is the need for IT/computer services and equipment at the new Old School Community Center.
Councilwoman Kimberly Stewart said she brought representatives from each of these companies into the building and asked for their recommendations regarding what it would take and how much it would cost to provide high-speed internet and Wi-Fi throughout the building with continuing support and maintenance.
Three bids were opened, ranging from $8,200-$21,000.
However, this item was also tabled until more of the council could be present.