Let’s Get Specific

Now that our first Town Hall meeting is behind us, I have had a bit of time to contemplate public comments and questions.  For those who were not at the town hall, there were many good questions that were asked, perspectives shared, and valid concerns raised.  While some residents made comments of support, the overall message that I heard was that you want more details and specifics.

In response, I will be taking the questions that seem to have the greatest interest, and I will treat each one as their own topic for discussion.  Rather than hastily answering many questions at once (which would be a disservice to you), I will take each question and explore it in greater detail as its own blog post in the coming months.  I will try to provide supporting material whenever appropriate.  My hope is that by taking this approach, not only will your questions will be more completely answered, but I can commit the appropriate time to further researching each question in greater detail prior to presenting any agreements for city council approval this fall.

My desire is to do the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people with an eye toward the future.  In order to accomplish this, I will do my level best to take an objective view of each of these questions and communicate a comprehensive perspective to you.  Here are some of the questions I will be reporting to you on between now and this fall.

 

  •  What is the perspective of other city mayors and council members who have chosen to retain/sell their own utility services and how does that apply to Eagle Mountain’s situation?
  •  What were the appraisals for the Electric and Gas and are we getting paid what they are worth?
  •  Can we start a co-op? Like Dixie Escalante?
  •  With the current infrastructure, how long will it be before we need to build for additional capacity?
  •  If we keep growing, won’t we just use that increased revenue to pay off our bonds?
  •  Why should we give up control of our utilities? We won’t have any control over rates, right?
  •  What will happen when the administrative transfer is gone? How will we make up the 250K in revenue? Are there any other revenues that we will need to make up?
  •  When we changed over to UFA, the increase in tax was supposed to be compensated for with a lowering of the electric rate, will we be giving away our ability to keep the same low rates?
  •  Will you just be raising property taxes to compensate for the loss of the administrative transfer?
  •  Do we have to sell both utilities? Can we sell one and not the other?
  •  What challenges lie ahead if we keep/sell the utilities?
  •  Will we pay a different rate than other customers with the new utility companies or will that cost be shared across the board (potentially lowering our rate)?

These blog posts should keep me busy for a little while, but if you have a question that I have not asked, don’t hesitate to leave it as a comment and I will do my best to address your concern.  I hope you will bear with me as I work my way through these questions.  I look forward to digging deeper.

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Let’s Get Specific

  1. Awesome, Thanks for addressing all these great questions residents have presented! Can’t wait to read some of the upcoming posts!

  2. As a resident yourself Mr. Mayor I trust whatever decision yourself and council decides on as I know it will be in the best interest of EM citizens. THANK YOU for your service

  3. I do have another question(s) for you to add to your list (if and when you have time to get to it)…. I am wondering if you could research and let us all know about the following possibilities.

    1. With the current amounts ($700k or so) coming from those to the general fund (right now there is budgeted about $250k for interfund transfers which Paul has explained to me is to only account for half the year assuming the sale goes through – so $500k interfund transfers and approx $200k in Late Fees/Disconnect & reconnect fees/etc that go into the general fund) If we kept Gas & Electric what would the possibilities of things we could use this amount for? I know it’s been explained the city can cover these “losses” through sales/property tax, but if we didn’t have to cover them and could use the $700,000 from Sales/Property taxes elsewhere have we looked into how far this would go each year towards roads, parks, rec center or a youth center, or possibly even lowering property taxes so we just don’t have this excess $700,000 and the money stays with the tax payer (which would be a savings of over $100 per household)?

    2. If we did keep the utilities and didn’t do the above what would be the possibility of hiring a separate Utility General Manager/HR, Secretary, and Accountant to run just the utilities (and let the current ones just focus on city related items)? With close to $1.5 million in administrative transfers & the other utility fees that go into general account from the utilities I would think we could hire a separate management for the utilities and still have quite a bit (more than half that amount) left over to save for infrastructure needs, future energy needs, or further lower rates?

    You know me ….. I will probably come up with a million more questions but I really wanted to address those two because I would love to know the flip side of this equation and know if we’ve explored the possibilities of if we keep the utilities but still “tighten up” like we will if we sell them what we could do or would do with that excess money that would be in the general fund.

  4. Mayor,
    What will it take to get a gas station/convenient store here in City Center? It seems like there is enough interest? Is it zoning, property price or something else that is keeping someone from making it happen?
    We appreciate your real deal transparency; something that is lacking in today’s political climate of self-servers. Keep doing it right.

    • Michael,

      There are a number of factors that have prevented businesses from locating in city center. There is sufficient zoning for business locations, though the price of land has previously been a burier. The larger issue is a simple question of typical retail business strategy. Retail businesses need to know how many customers they can reasonably expect to patronize their store. Population, proximity, and business location relative to transportation corridors are the primary concerns for most retailers. Armed with that information, businesses can form reasonable expectations for how many patrons they can expect and this how much revenue they will make. For right now, the cost to purchase and develop land for retail business seems to be a bit higher than the profit generating potential of most businesses. The ways to remedy this are 1. Increase customer base (population growth). This can be accomplished by home building. This is rpimg up and should help.
      2. Reduce the cost of building by reducing the standards. (Not requiring buildings that look reasonably nice). While this may look like a good option, it is permanent. You may end up with businesses, but if they have very low design standards, they will have an impact (negatively) on future development.
      3. Offer incentives such as tax increment financin. This option offers to rebate the property tax back to the business in irder to reduce their expens for the first years of business. This is what was done for Ridley’s. It is an option, though it should be used sparingly for retail for many reasons. This would typically only be used for a larger development as the administrative cost of implementation is significant and this tool is ultimately meant to increase tax receipts and likely wouldn’t break even for many years for a single small retail store.

      I hope that helps.

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