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Park City’s 2022 Budget Talks Will Begin This Week

City Council in Park City will get a look at Park City’s tentative budget for next fiscal year at Thursday’s meeting.


According to Utah state law, the city manager needs to present a balanced budget proposal to city council at the first regular meeting scheduled in May.


Thursday’s proposed budget will be part of a council work session scheduled to begin at 4:00pm.


City Manager Matt Dias told KPCW after weathering the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic better than expected, the city is looking towards a 2021-22 winter tourist season that could set records. He said anticipating that surge in visitors and investing accordingly will be a central focus for fiscal year 2022.    


“We are anticipating a really, really strong winter and that’s the reason we’re creating an operating budget that’s investing in things like traffic and transportation, peak day management, intersection management, all sorts of things like that so we can respond to it,” Dias said.


The city staff report indicates the city’s operating budget will decrease by about 1.5% from the adjusted fiscal year 2021 budget to $63.5 million. The report says the decrease is mainly due to the absence of federal COVID-19 relief funding.


However, city staff does forecast revenue growth of over 20% compared to the amended budget adopted during the pandemic, accounting for a roughly $6.4 million increase in the city’s general fund.


Expected FY22 general fund expenses total over $5.5 million dollars and include investments in capital projects like improving the Rail Trail and transportation, restoring scaled-back operations, and reinstating an employee pay plan aimed at making the city more competitive for current and prospective employees.


Dias said of all the bad things to happen over the past year, the city was lucky to ride out the pandemic better than anyone at city hall expected and is now poised to move forward.   


“The silver lining all along is we’ve had a very strong recovery,” he said. “We had strong visitation [last] summer and then incredibly strong visitation this winter in the light of everything. But so this next year, we’re going to try and use that success and that stability to invest more in our projects, our programs, and our people. We know that this council and community have very strong and aggressive goals and we’re going to try and create a budget that can serve those up and forward some of our initiatives.”


Regular city council discussions on the FY22 budget are expected to take place between now and June 17th. The final adoption of the budget is scheduled to take place June 24th.


Thursday’s city council meeting is scheduled to begin at 4:00pm. Information on how to participate can be found here.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.