Showing posts with label Public Safety Bldg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Public Safety Bldg. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Pool is Drained; Public Safety Building not Supported

Local voters, aka Tapayers, in a reasonably good turnout vetoed the $24 M pool with a strong NO vote.  

Of the 49% who actually voted, 97% cast their vote on the issue and over 53% effectively said "We can't afford it!"

Number of Precincts 37
Precincts Reporting 37 100.00%
Times Counted 6241/12718 49.10%
Total Votes 6064 97%
For 2834 46.73%
Against 3230 53.27%

On another vote, which ended up as only a "straw poll," with a similar turnout 57% of Heber City voters registered the disapproval of the Public Safety Building saying they do NOT favor it by a 57% majority.  
As someone jumped the gun and put the issue on the ballot before the petition signatures were collected, the vote was not supposed to be tabulated and is not a valid legal rejection of t he proposal.
Hopefully, the City leaders will take this under advisement, but they've already approved the contract to build the project at over $7 Million.   

Only 7% of those who voted, did not weigh in on the issue. But 57% who did cast a ballot said NO, thanks.  (Many are going to be surprised that their vote was meaningless!!!)


Number of Precincts 14

Precincts Reporting 14 100.00%
Times Counted 2615/5352 48.90%
Total Votes 2431 93%
Yes 1043 42.90%
No 1388 57.10%

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Is a New Heber City Justice Court NEEDED?

At the recent Public Hearing for the proposed Heber City Public Safety building, some officials reportedly indicated 'that the county justice court is already heavily used and that city cases must wait too long in many cases.'   

That's possibly true and within a 'few' years that may likely be true.
But the actual current schedule does not seem to demonstrate that. Here's an analysis of the schedules (obviously from an "outside" view)from the Utah Court Calendar 
  • Currently, Heber Justice Court operates Thursday and Friday only
  • Wasatch Justice averages a bit over 3 days a week
  • The District Court is NOT close to fully scheduled
  • Cases schedules two weeks out are only 20% of current schedules ( in other words, there generally does not appear to be a long wait.)
  • Wasatch County has about  40 cases per week, 
    • Most cases are Traffic, 50-60% (?)
    • Heber appears to average 80 cases a week and is only scheduled 8 days a month
    • A large number of cases are traffic - 80% (?) 
  • (raising speed limit on Center St and other locales where it would be safe to do would probably decrease case numbers by 10% )
  •  Is Heber Justice more efficient?  
Does that few days justify $2 Million in new construction which is proposed for a quarter(?) of the building?   If, when a new Heber office are built, could not the Council chamber be also used as a court - as it is now?

    Can the courts also not be used more efficiently?   Saturdays, more hours per day?  It might be cheaper, and more efficient, to hire more people.   Has an analysis been done to determine that?

Raw Data:

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Heber City TAX INCREASE - 31%

With an upcoming "Truth" in Taxation Hearing coming up on August 12 for a 31% increase in Heber City property taxes, due to the proposed $7.5 Million Public Safety building, here a few comparative costs for 'similar' recent buildings in the US.

Sq Ft Cost Population $/sqft $/person
MN Princeton 2012 22,540 $2,050,000 4,674 $91.00 $439.00
NH Bow 2013 30,000 $7,700,000 7,519 $257.00 $1,024.00 Bond Failed
VT Hinesburg 2013 3,500 $1,055,200 4,340 $301.00 $243.00
UT WSU 2014 10,086 $2,500,000 25,000 $248.00 $100.00
MA Wayland
30,000 $5,800,000 13,000 $193.00 $446.00
MN Bayport 2013 20,000 $5,000,000 3,605 $250.00 $1,387.00
MN Waseca 2013 26,000 $2,300,000 9,434 $88.00 $244.00 Remodeled Store

20,304 $3,772,171 9,653 $204.00 $555.00

UT Heber
22,000 $7,700,000 12,260 $350.00 $628.00

8% 104% 27% 72% 13% % higher than avg
  • WSU is Weber State U.  and the population is student enrollment.
  • Notice the the people of Dow, NH killed the bond vote. (req'd 2/3).  At least one other was were voted on, but Heber did not offer that option.
  • Some were combined Fire and Police
  • Heber proposal is twice the average in cost, 72% higher per sq.ft. and 13% higher per capita
  • Notice Waseca was a remodeled Store, but I guess we can't say anything now about a remodeled school
  • People also need to remember that in 2011 Heber passed a resolution to "Study" Public Safety - and failed to even initiate the study.  (see the previous post)
Addendum: Pleasant Grove Utah, Vote failed by over 2 to 1 margin, cut cost and trying again.
UT Pleasant Gr 2013 ?? $19,000,000

UT Pleasant Gr 2014 49286 $14,980,505 35,000 $304.00 $428.00

     HC comp

95% 185% 13% 32%

change -21%

Addendum 2: Kaysville, UT     Vote Failed  57% to 43% in 2010, ignoring vote 2014
UT Kaysville 2010

Lost 57%
UT Kaysville 2014 20,000 $5,500,000 27,000 $275.00 $204.00

     HC comp

-29% 120% -21% -68%

Disclaimer: I am not necessarily opposed to a new facility, merely the cost, size and adding the Justice Court, which could be handled IN, or BY, the Wasatch County Court facility.     PERHAPS, half the size/cost MIGHT be appropriate. 

For more info and details, check these links:

Heber City Public Safety Building recent History

The cost for the City to provide for the public safety of the Citizens of Heber amounts to 43% of our total budget. This is money well spent, but as a member of the council, I have deep concerns regarding how we will continue to find funding for the increasing cost of public safety.   Alan McDonald 29 May 2013

Heber City Council Meeting excerpts:

  30 Apr 2011  Councilman McDonald said the Police Department was 40% of budget. He suggested the City was still staffing the Police Department as if the population of Heber was 6,000. He suggested the City had to allocate more money to fund that Department or consolidate with Wasatch County--fund it and staff it like it should be or let it go. 

21 July 2011  Resolution 2011-07 – A Resolution to Complete two studies for a Five- and Ten-Year Public Safety Service Plan: Councilman McDonald moved to approve Resolution 2011-07 and appoint part of the Council to participate in that study. He said he did not think there had ever been a study of this kind done before.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Impact Fees Could Raise Hundreds of Thousands

As Heber Light and Power considers increasing rates on the smaller rate payers, they should FIRST consider raising Impact Fees.

Hired consultant ($20K ?) Pender's Cost of Service study report explained that part of any rate determination was to consider 'Cost Causation.'  Impact fees are designed to do exactly that - recover some of the the cost associated with new development, either commercial or residential.

The current Impact Fee rate collected by HL&P  is reportedly 41% of  the maximum allowable.  A simple raise to 60% would garner $230K, 100% would have yielded $700K.  These rates have been in effect since at least 2006, during some of the largest growth period.  This could be considered the cause of the current shortfall AND debt incurred,

If the cost of new infrastructure is not collected from the developments which are causing it, the remaining costs must be borne by current ratepayers.

Is that 'fair and equitable'? - another determining factor for rate calculation.

"For (HL&P) infrastructure projects beginning in 2012 through 2015 amounting to $6,959,000, only $3,542,000 is eligible for impact fees.  Of this eligible figure only about 41% is being recovered in impact fees. This is the same percent impact fee recovery for new businesses, subdivisions etc."

That means only $1.45M will be collected, increasing to 60% would raise $700K, to 100% = $2Million over 3 year. Why should current rate payers be subsidizing new developments????

A brief Impact Fee overview for the first five months of 2014 can be seen here.