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Budget Season is Here

It is budget season once again. This week, City Council will be meeting with City staff to review budget proposals for the upcoming year. Each department gathered information, crunched numbers and put together what they have determined is the necessary funding to run their departments over the next year. On Wednesday, April 23rd, the department heads will present this information to Council for review and consideration for approval. Council will revise departmental requests as necessary, adjust and balance projected costs vs. anticipated needs, and allocate any uncommitted funds.
Each year, City Council reviews the detailed costs of City business. Much of the fiscal year’s budget is already set due to the fact that City business is ongoing and most costs are structural and predictable, determined by contract, or reflect City policies that are built into the budget’s framework. However, the budget does change in detail, unanticipated developments, and through cost savings measures.
Continued steady economic growth shows the City in better financial shape overall. However, increased growth brings about additional expenses. As always in budget discussions, costs of staffing are included. This year, City Council will be routinely reviewing the benefits and salaries of employees to assure that we are not only maintaining a competitive edge in the market, but also operating within sustainable means. The Council requested a Benefits Committee be formed and a third-party contractor be acquired to compile information necessary to do a benefits comparison. The information will be assembled and presented to Council with potential for aligning our benefits with those of other cities, while maintaining a competitive edge in the market. The main focus of this study is to show how Herriman City benefits compare to other rapidly growing and similarly sized cities, as well as comparisons to other counties, states, private sector and the market in general. Herriman has a wonderful staff and we want to make sure we retain them while maintaining financial stability as our needs grow.
Other items discussed in the budget meetings include parks, events, capital projects and development. Herriman appreciates open space with several parks and trails. However, more parks and trails mean more maintenance costs. Events are also a significant cost to the City, but a great benefit for the residents as they enhance our community feel. Development is all around us as rooftops and businesses increase. The SLR property that will be developed as the Creek Ridge area will generate costs in regards to roads and improvements, but will bring in additional tax dollars through property and sales tax due to the variety of development in the location.
It is apparent that the City Council has a lot to consider as they enter into their budget discussions. Their top priority will be to assure that all needs of the City are being met while avoiding imprudent spending. Maintaining fiscal responsibility is the center of all decisions.
Budget meetings begin on Wednesday, April 23rd and continue on April 30th, 2014 at 5:00 pm in the City Council Chambers and are open to the public.

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