Mayor proposes 2021 budget with increases to police, fire, parks
Dean Lundell, Lehi City Finance Director updated the City Council on the current and anticipated financial state of Lehi City during last week’s digital Council meeting. With the economy experiencing turbulence, sales tax revenue is sure to decrease, but Lehi City staff feel prepared to weather the storm.
“We are in a good position. We have really good reserves right now. Our General Fund reserve is $10.6 million. That is money we can draw on if revenues did not come in as budgeted,” explained Lundell. “We traditionally budget conservatively. We could take a pretty good hit economically and still be ok because we haven’t stretched our budgeted revenues.”.
Councilwoman Paige Albrecht asked Lundell to draft a notice to Lehi City residents who may feel concerned about the future and would be pleased to know the City is in good financial position. “It is nice for residents to know that in so much instability, they can depend on their City,” said Albrecht.
Regarding Lehi’s financial stability, Mayor Mark Johnson said, “At the time this heath crisis hit, Lehi City was fortunate to have the financial reserves available to continue critical operations. As many know, non-essential and leisure services have been curtailed until our circumstance normalizes.”
Regarding business activities in Lehi, Johnson said, “Additionally, our city is very fortunate to have many businesses that can continue to operate in this difficult environment and generate revenue. They have become very creative.”
The conversation about weathering the current economic storm came during the Mayor’s first budget proposal for the 2021 fiscal year that will begin on July 1, 2020. The first proposed budget included total expenditures of $181,197,237 (1.16% higher than in 2020).
If the budget is adopted, several City departments’ budgets will increase.
Police: $8,827,711 ($543,055 more than previous year)
$191,238 increase for salaries & wages
$127,970 increase for employee benefits
$158,300 increase for the fleet fund
Parks: $3,119,525 ($437,172 more than previous year)
$156,171 increase for salaries & wages
$129,500 increase for employee benefits
Non-Departmental: $8,250,865 ($382,388 more than previous year)
$385,635 increase for the fleet fund
$370,013 increase to the risk fund
$200,000 increase to debt service
$117,000 increase for employee wellness
$81,705 increase to the Legacy Center
Fire: $7,782,253 ($200,310 more than previous year)
This initial budget was the first presented to the City Council and is required to be presented by state law. The Council will now review the proposal and work through the budget process. A final 2021 budget is expected to be presented and voted on in May.