Officials Seek Public Works Deal as Budget Deadline Looms

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor The debate over the 2012-13 Salt Lake City budget appears to be nearing a conclusion as Mayor Ralph Becker’s $204.3 million proposal comes under the City Council’s scrutiny. The mayor’s proposal falls just $1.5 million short of the council’s $205.8 million plan, with major differences primarily related to capital improvements, the [...]

The debate over the 2012-13 Salt Lake City budget appears to be nearing a conclusion as Mayor Ralph Becker’s $204.3 million proposal comes under the City Council’s scrutiny. The mayor’s proposal falls just $1.5 million short of the council’s $205.8 million plan, with major differences primarily related to capital improvements, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

In particular, Becker recommended a $16.8 million allocation for the fund that pays for street upgrades, sidewalk improvements and the maintenance of storm drains. The city council added $888,549 to the mayor’s initial proposal,amid concerns that the cuts would be too big. In the budget for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, the city allocated $19.6 million to capital spending.  The additional funding would be provided by an increase in property tax revenue.

The city will also add two officers specializing in zoning enforcement, an area in which the city is aiming to be more aggressive. Downtown parking will get more expensive; the council signed off on the mayor’s proposal to raise rates from $1.50 to $2.00 per hour. The council also eliminated free side street parking during the Christmas holiday season.

With the July 1 start of the fiscal year looming, budget decisions will also determine the future of the city- owned Jordan River Par-3 Golf Course. Becker wants to close the venue to save on operating costs.

Photo courtesy of destination360.com