Alpine municipal wells give city staff roller coaster ride

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To little fanfare, the city of Alpine approved their tentative 2019-2020 budget Tuesday night, which raises property taxes to fund Lone Peak Public Safety.

It became necessary to raise extra funds for Lone Peak Public Safety after Cedar Hills opted out of the Lone Peak Fire District and left that cost to both Highland and Alpine, and raising compensation for Lone Peak police officers also became a necessity. For its share, Alpine needs to raise an additional $423,633.

Highland voted last week to have a public safety fee instead of raising property taxes, a move which Alpine City Attorney David Church advised the city against, stating it could lead to all sorts of legal problems.

“I alway advise the cities that I represent that it’s pretty risky to do public safety on a fee basis,” Church said, although he admitted it can work in some cases.

The motion to raise property taxes passed unanimously. Only one resident out of less than 10 residents who attended gave his opinion during the public hearing and stated he would prefer a fee.

According to City Administrator Shane Sorenson, the property tax, which would be different for residents based on the value of their property, would be an increase of a little over 31%, amounting to around $211 a year for a median home, around $17 per month.

Despite the unanimous vote, Alpine only approved a “tentative” budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The final budget has to be approved before Sept. 1. A truth in taxation hearing, where the public will be able to once again voice their opinion on the raising of property taxes to fund public safety, will be held at 7 p.m. on August 20 at Alpine City Hall.

Carley Porter covers northern Utah County and business for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at cporter@heraldextra.com.

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