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The City Journals

Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Passed, Weekly Recycling Program Cut

Aug 01, 2016 08:27AM ● By Kelly Cannon

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

Draper, Utah - Funds for weekly recycling were removed after much debate from the council during the approval of the 2016 fiscal year city budget. The unanimous decision was reached at the end of the June 21 meeting.

The budget was explained to the council by Financial Director Bob Wylie and City Manager David Dobbins. Before the budget was discussed, Councilmember William Rappleye recused himself from the discussion and subsequent vote because he works for an entity that has an agreement with city for funding from the chamber commerce.

Dobbins explained the council is allowed to add or take things out of the budget but pointed out specific items he would recommend keeping.

The most debated issue on the budget was a change to the recycling program. Dobbins pointed out there was $379,997 for shifting the recycling program from every other week to once a week. The nearly $400,000 budgeted amount was for the initial startup costs. From then on, the annual cost would be $134,717 to maintain the program. The initial costs included $265,000 for a new vehicle, $59,250 in salary and benefits for the operator of the vehicle and $55,000 for projected fuel, tires and repairs to the vehicle.

The recycling issue was hotly debated among the council members. Councilmember Alan Summerhays spoke against having recycling changing to once a week, instead favoring a plan where residents who need the weekly pick-up purchase another recycling can for $2.50.

Councilmember Michele Weeks said she believed she was the only council member who felt the need for the recycling every week.

“I’ve had a lot of people write in. I’ve had many people stop me on the street asking me why we don’t recycle every week,” Weeks said. “I’ve had Boy Scout Troops come over and pitch to me they want recycling every week. Neighbors have pointed out that their recycling cans are very valuable to them.”

Summerhays interrupted Weeks, saying residents with too much recycling could take the extra up to the dump themselves. In response, Weeks said people want to have their recycling picked up at their house and they don’t want to put the recycling in their car and drive out of their way to recycle.

“They do not understand why the city does not pick up the recycling every week,” Weeks said. “I get a lot of complaints about it.”

Summerhays asked if having weekly recycling was worth the nearly $400,000. Weeks explained that amount was only one-time money and, while it is pricey, it was going to be less all the other years.

Councilmember Marsha Vawdrey interrupted the two to point out only 7 percent of the Draper population has a second can. Weeks said none of her neighbors want a second can and that while she doesn’t have a second can, her recycling is full every week.

Summerhays said he has four cans and if he needs to, he’ll just order another can.

“It’s only $2.50,” Summerhays said. “I’ll just order another can.”

Mayor Troy Walker broke up the debate by saying when the motion to approve the budget is made, the person making the motion can either include or exclude the recycling part, but the discussion about the budget needed to continue.

Dobbins continued the discussion by pointing out the budget included funds for a new park ranger, which the council had discussed in previous council meetings. The funds include $40,500 for salary, $18,500 for benefits and $32,500 for a vehicle.

Summerhays asked Police Chief Byran Roberts if the park ranger would be certified with the Draper Police Department and could therefore give tickets to those who are not following the rules. Roberts said the department has not had those discussions yet, but that was a path they could pursue.

Dobbins explained the park ranger would be a full-time employee who would cover the trails all year round. There is also a part-time officer who would also patrol the area, and during the summer, the officers assigned to schools could also help out with the trails.

“That might make that canyon more patrolled than most streets,” Walker said.

In discussing the budget for the police department, Dobbins said the department is moving to a step program that outlines the different steps required for officers to take in order to advance both in rank and in pay. This new plan is replacing an older program of promotion and advancement. The new program also raised salaries for police officers. Walker spoke in favor of the change.

“The reason we incorporated as a city was really to control and provide public services to the city. Public safety is our number one priority. Our police department has always been good and I think it’s at the point where it’s outstanding,” Walker said. “I think this is the most important money we can be spending in respect to liability, in respect to the image we project out to the public. And I think this does that.”

In discussing recently proposed projects not in the budget, Dobbins pointed out if anything is added to the budget, the money must be taken from some other part of the budget in order for it to be balanced. Vawdrey made a request on behalf of the Draper Historical Society, who has requested $2,500 for a security system, a window replacement and mulch for the garden.

After discussions were over, Councilmember Jeff Stenquist made the motion to approve the budget with the exclusion of the funds for the recycling program going to weekly pick-up, as well as all the tentative proposed projects, with a small change made to improvement on the dog park — reducing the amount from $30,000 to $20,000. The money for the Historical Society was taken from that extra $10,000 and the remaining $7,500 was added to FY17 street projects. The motion was seconded by Summerhays.

Weeks, still trying to keep the weekly recycling program, made an amendment to the motion to include the weekly recycling, but the amendment failed to gain a second vote and therefore died. The budget was unanimously passed without the weekly recycling program.