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Park City Council to approve $66M operating budget

Park City's Marsac Building.
Parker Malatesta
Park City's Marsac Building.

The Park City Council is set to approve a no-tax increase budget at its meeting Thursday that calls for no new employees but gives existing staff and elected officials a pay raise.

The good news is that Park City’s economy remains strong. However, city officials anticipate the higher-than-normal revenue growth that followed the COVID-19 pandemic will level off in the year to come. City budget managers project a 4% increase or more than $2 million in the coming fiscal year mostly due to increased sales taxes.

With the retirement of a general obligation bond, taxpayers will enjoy a drop in the city’s portion of their tax bills by about $70 for a home valued at $2.3 million. The city’s combined budget totals more than $295 million. The operating fund totals nearly $66 million.

City Manager Matt Dias says the budget prioritizes maintaining essential city services with excellent customer service and an investment in its work force.

“We're not predicting these huge increases in sales taxes we've experienced over the last five or six years,” Dias said. “In a year with relatively constrained new revenue, we're adequately able to take care of our employees and maintain a competitive work environment. We're not just losing employees to other cities and towns of the private sector, but also are really make some lasting and significant impacts on Park City's future.”

He says the city also has a robust capital program which pursues community initiatives, including the new senior center, the 5-acre site in Bonanza, and preparing for the 2034 Olympics.

“[We’re] renovating the new City Park building, we're going to be overhauling the aquatics facility at the MARC both the lap pool and some sort of children's or leisure pool; major improvements on the Homestake roadway multi-use path and sidewalks in the Bonanza district,” he said. “$10 million is targeted for different types of projects to enhance housing and transportation goals. A $15 million allocation to a park-and-ride and underground the Rocky Mountain Power transmission lines.”

He says that $10 million was previously budgeted for affordable housing which has constrained how the city can spend that money. By opening it up, he says the funds will be available for any number of community initiatives.

“The ability to have a little bit more flexibility, a little bit more fungible monies, we believe, will more adequately represent the community's interest,” he said. “So, I don't view it as a taking -- there's nothing to prevent it going solely on a housing project. But it does make it more fungible, flexible for the council to be creative, and initiate these transactions with the private sector.”

The Park City Council meets Thursday starting with a work session in council chambers at 4:25 p.m. Here are the links to the meeting agenda and to participate virtually.