Castle Dale Council Focuses on Budget Concerns
Castle Dale City Council met in a regular meeting on May 28 at the Castle Dale City Hall. Those council members present were: Dan Whiteleather, Jack Rogers, Brad Giles, Doug Weaver, Lamont Gordon and Neal Peacock, mayor.
Discussion of the city budget was first on the agenda, but was delayed while other business was taken care of first. Discussion took place on the annexation of the property the public safety complex is being built on, into Castle Dale City. Carolyn Jorgensen, city recorder, told the council that the petition has been prepared and submitted and will need to be published in the newspaper for three weeks. After the publication there will be a period of time where written protests can be submitted. These protests need to be filed with the Emery County Planning and Zoning and the Castle Dale City recorder. It was pointed out the annexation does not include the road.
The road is a county road and will be maintained by the county. Council members hoped that with the annexation of this land that it will open up the door for industrial development in that area. All utilities will be in place and it will be zoned as light industrial. Jorgensen also pointed out that the city needs an annexation plan for future reference.
Weaver pointed out that the Bureau of Land Management has two 40 acre parcels in the area which will need to be traded out. A trade of state land is usually the easiest he said and avoids a lot of red tape. Weaver made a motion to accept the annexation certification with Whiteleather seconding the motion and it passed unanimously. Peacock said the certification was approved as it was on the plat map and the official description.
Rogers gave the council a water update. He said as of May 14, Castle Dale was using 3.5 acre feet a day and Orangeville was using 5.4 acre feet a day. The council felt the city residents should be commended for their water conservation efforts. Castle Dale residents can water on any three days of the week and are on the honor system. It was pointed out that Orangeville residents are on much stricter restrictions. Whiteleather said it has been his experience as a council member that the tighter the water restrictions the more the people use. Plans were made to check the storage pond to see if the amount of water ordered each week is being used. If it isn't then the city will cut back on their weekly allotment which can then be saved for use later in the summer.
The council also thought it would be a good idea to use a water graph which shows the water which has been used and how much is left. Other cities in the county are posting this at their post offices. The council said Castle Dale citizens have been doing an incredible job and that they would prepare a letter to thank the residents. Peacock expressed his concern that when the secondary water runs out that people will try to use the culinary water which would be a bad situation. He pointed out that conservation now will help extend the water supply into August. As of May 28, Castle Dale residents have used 103.6 acre feet of water and it is projected that they will finish the month using 118.00 acre feet. Last year at this time Castle Dale usage was 135.5 acre feet and average May usage is 128.00 acre feet. Castle Dale watering schedule will remain the same. Any three days of the week from 5-9 a.m. or 6-10 p.m.
Rogers reported to the council that he had followed up on a donation made to the Castle Country Region Information Center in the CEU museum for the promotion of the Castle Country area. Castle Dale made a $500 donation to the center in response to a letter sent to all of the cities asking for donations. He attended a presentation where information was presented about putting local attractions and information about each of the cities on the area newspapers web sites. The city council sounded pleased with the efforts to promote visitors to the area. Rogers also said the travel council has secured grants for the updating of information kiosks at the rest areas in Emery, Tucker and Thompson. The information for the Emery rest stop has been sent in and will be in place later in the summer.
Whiteleather said a new steam cleaner is needed at the shop because the old one is worn out. Gordon said that they have hired seven new lifeguards at the Castle Dale pool. Whiteleather also said the summer help for the rodeo grounds and the cemetery have been hired as well.
Giles gave a report on how things went at the cemetery over Memorial Day weekend. Large crowds of approximately 300 people visited on Saturday and Monday with a smaller crowd on Sunday. It worked well having people drive into the cemetery and a golf cart was also used for transporting people to the flag ceremony. Flags were put on the veterans graves and a 21 gun salute ceremony was held and was very impressive, said the Mayor.
Giles and Peacock greeted visitors to the cemetery and they said they received many compliments on the condition of the cemetery. The preparation of the cemetery was a team effort the council reported and the flowers will be left on until next Tuesday after which they will be removed.
Discussion returned to the preparation of the 2002-2003 Castle Dale City budget. The first area of discussion was for projected revenues. Jorgensen reported that they have not received the tax rate yet from the county. She said when listing the amount for the projected revenues that it is better to set it higher and then adjust it because you can always come down but you can't go up. Delinquent taxes were listed as $200,000. A rebate on the Olympics has been received for approximately $21,000. A fee in lieu of taxes comes from the county to the city, the energy tax was down a bit and Jorgensen explained that it varies each winter. She said business licenses are down and that some licenses are delinquent and letters have been sent to those businesses. It was determined that in the June meeting they would work out a policy for delinquent business licenses.
The sell of animal licenses are down. The county will allocate money to Castle Dale City for help in operating the swimming pool. The city will request $18,000 for this purpose. Under the public parks which is just for the swimming pool, $28,000 was listed. Cemetery revenues are down a little, reported Jorgensen.
Discussion turned to the expenditure side of the budget. Jorgensen said that insurance costs were projected to raise from $13,000 to $21-22,000. Jorgensen said that an appraiser can be sent down for a nominal fee to assess all city properties so the city would know where it stands on their value. $58,000 was budgeted for elected officials salaries. The youth city council was budgeted $1,500 with $500 for their Sub for Santa program. Jorgensen said the medical insurance costs are increasing and recommended the budget amount be raised from $12,000 to $15,000. An increase of $500 was added to the retirement fund. Auditor expenses were listed as $2,650. Other expenses which needed to be looked at was the expense of having new maps made of the city. The June Jamboree was budgeted for $5,000. The fire department budget will stay the same. The animal control is being budgeted $4,000. Giles said the money budgeted for curb and gutter this year will pretty well finish the city.
The shop and garage were budgeted $6,000. Equipment was budgeted $20,000 and repair was budgeted $20,000. It was mentioned that the windows on the pioneer museum will be replaced with grant money the county is receiving and the city would like to replace the windows on the city hall as well. Peacock pointed out if all the windows are purchased at the same time that perhaps they could get a better deal.
Plans to remodel the conference room in the city hall was budgeted $15,000. Fireworks were budgeted for $5,000. The council explained that this year with parade time being so close to the fair parade that they were going to combine the parades. On the 24th of July a combined dinner will be held for Orangeville and Castle Dale residents at the rodeo grounds and the fireworks will be shot from the rodeo grounds as well.
Under Christmas lights, Jorgensen said the city likes to add something new each year and the council budgeted $5,500 for Christmas lights. Cemetery expenses were expected to be kept to a low of $6,000 with most of the needed work already being finished. Rodeo grounds upkeep was kept the same at $9,000. One council member wondered about the fee for using the arena. Whiteleather explained that if a group is nonprofit the use of the arena is free. If it is a for profit association the charge is $300 per day. The county fair pays to use the arena.
Peacock wondered if a sign could be prepared to place at the rodeo grounds which would encourage those using the facility free of charge to shop locally and contribute to our economy during their stay. Council members thought this was a good idea. Whiteleather mentioned a roping event being held there which will draw between 100-150 teams. Funds were also allocated for the swimming pool, beautification, shop and grandstand, Christmas and Easter celebrations, general maintenance, wages, utilities and miscellaneous expenditures.
After the expenditures and expected revenues were reviewed the two figures didn't match so the expenditures had to be reduced. Giles said to remove $13,000 from the sign project. The purchase of a backhoe will be put off and $10,000 would be sliced from the equipment and repair budget. The miscellaneous fund will also be trimmed by $429 to bring the budget in line. The estimated budget is $512,346. The budget may have to be adjusted when the tax rate comes from the county as well as other variables. At the June city council meeting a public hearing will be held on the budget and the budget will be finalized.
The next Castle Dale City Council meeting will be held on June 12 at 7 p.m. at the city hall.