Friday, July 27, 2012

Sun Valley adds street fund to 2013 budget

Public hearing on budget set for Aug. 7

Express Staff Writer

Following action by the Sun Valley City Council on Thursday, July 19, a street and path fund, to be used for high-cost repairs, is in the city's tentative 2013 budget.

The tentative budget is now ready to be advertised for public hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at 3 p.m. at City Hall.

Councilman Franz Suhadolnik was the only council member who voted against the budget amendment to create the new fund. He opposed increasing the city's property tax revenue by 3 percent to pay for the street and path fund given the current economic climate.

"I could not possibly vote for both a 3 percent increase in the property tax and a 1 percent rate increase in the LOT," Suhadolnik said.

Councilwoman Michelle Griffith said 3 percent property tax increase is an alternative to issuing a bond. A bond proposed to upgrade city streets narrowly failed last year.

Idaho cities have the authority to take a 3 percent increase from property taxes each year. Greater increases are subject to public approval.

Councilman Bob Youngman supported the fund.

"Most councils want to give their citizens cake and make the next guys eat the cement," Youngman said. "This is what I'm trying to avoid by initiating a street and path fund."

The new fund could always be rolled back into the general fund by future councils, as a road repair fund was in 2010.

The council has stated that it will hold a meeting in the near future to discuss how the fund will best be used to improve Sun Valley residents' quality of driving.

"I think we have a higher standard for roads than Ketchum does," Youngman said.

Brennan Rego:

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