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Highland votes to approve budget for 2023 fiscal year

By Ashtyn Asay - | Jun 22, 2022

Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo

Highland Glen Park is pictured in Highland on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020.

The Highland City Council voted 4-1 on Tuesday to approve the city’s budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

According to the budget presentation made by Tyler Bahr, finance director for Highland, multiple changes were made to the city’s tentative budget, first approved on May 17, that are reflected in the final budget.

The Public Safety Fee will increase to $15.25 a month for the 2023 fiscal year, the funding allocated toward the city prosecutor was raised from $18,000 to $27,000 and funds allocated to spend on audio-visual equipment replacement within the Highland City Council chambers were reduced from $100,000 to $50,000.

Several items were removed from the budget altogether, including:

  • $75,000 that was previously allocated for grave excavation equipment.
  • $25,000 that was previously allocated for a second variable message sign.
  • $18,000 that was previously allocated for council appropriations.
  • $75,000 that was removed during a General Plan update.
  • $150,000 that was previously allocated for an open-space playground.

With all of these changes, Highland’s General Fund for the next year is estimated to be $895,000.

“Much of these revenues are short-term, meaning that they are not recurring and are anticipated to decrease significantly in future years,” Bahr stated in an agenda report. “The Council should, at some future point once current projections can be reevaluated with actual revenue trends, decide how to allocate these funds, whether in a transfer to a capital fund or to another one-time, non-recurring purpose.”

Sales tax will increase to $3.6 million, an 8.3% increase from the 2022 fiscal year, and property tax will increase to $1.9 million, a 4.1% increase from 2022.

Additionally, $111,000 from the Culinary Water Fund has been allocated for the installation of secondary water meters, as mandated by the state after the passing of the Secondary Water Metering Amendments earlier this year. Due to this, some projects that would have previously been funded have been postponed.

According to Bahr, the Highland City Library is expected to roughly break even in 2023, with an estimated revenue of $374,000 and expenditure of $371,000. This is ideal since the library has seen grant revenue declining and is returning to pre-COVID levels.

Notable capital projects funded this year include Mountain Ridge Park, street maintenance and the reconstruction of 6800 West.

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