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If you have any questions regarding City News, please contact Linda Peterson, Communications & Community Relations Director, at lpeterson@emcity.org or 801-358-1175. 

Eagle Mountain City Finds Success Practicing Limited Government

Post Date:04/26/2018 1:25 PM

Within the past ten years, almost half of its history, Eagle Mountain City has embraced the concept of limited government and using creative solutions to address needs in the city.

We are proud of our staff, elected officials, residents, and community partners for all we have been able to accomplish together, and look forward to more milestones as we continue to grow.

Following are highlights from the past decade: 

Growth

  • 47% increase in population since 2008 (22,309 to 32,980)
  • 3,336 residential building permits issued since 2010 and 37,103 inspections
    • Outsourced certain inspections to increase efficiency and allow inspectors to do more elsewhere

Financial

  • 44% decline on general government costs per capita since 2010
  • Sales Tax generation increased 163% from 2009 to 2017 (economic development efforts)
  • No new General Obligation (bond) debt and refinancing on existing bonds saved money
  • Selling gas & electric utilities reduced our debt by half
    • Debt per capita dropped by 60% from $2,015 to $822
  • Selling gas & electric utilities allowed for: (with no tax dollars going to them)
    • Funding of 60 acre Cory B. Wride Memorial Park
    • Increased trail connectivity
    • Improvements along trails (benches, garbage cans, shade, landscaping)
    • Park improvements in 10 parks throughout the city
    • Nolen Park splash pad upgrades and pavilion
    • Cemetery fencing and upgrades
    • Bathrooms added to four parks
    • $1,000,000 in changes to median landscaping
    • Emergency preparedness measures for wells
    • Widening portion of Pony Express Parkway
    • Creation of $1,000,000 neighborhood match grant program
  • One-time fees for one-time costs: development revenues going towards street repairs, parks, other capital projects
  • Never raised property taxes through truth in taxation process
  • Average of 20% fund balance reserve over the past 5 years, including several years where city had to transfer into the capital projects fund
  • Streets: 154 total miles of streets and all streets will have a preventative maintenance application in a five-year plan
    • 18,484 sq ft of asphalt repairs in 2010 to 365,732 sq ft in 2017
  • Incubator: Sale of golf course to Vanguard put $500,000 to starting a business incubator to help grow local businesses
  • Chamber of commerce: starting up local chamber of commerce to provide help and voice for local businesses without being operated by the city
  • UFA: annexed into UFA in 2013 which decreased City expenses while dramatically increasing access to firefighting services, particularly wildfire services
  • Ranches HOA: After the dissolution of The Ranches HOA, the City was faced with a 75% increase in landscape maintenance needs and more than doubled code enforcement needs
    • Landscape maintenance costs decreased with the same level of service being provided
    • Streamlined Code Enforcement efforts through use of technology
  • 10% decline in FTE, mostly by attrition since 2008 and despite increase in population, no reduction in services 

Amenities

  • Cory B. Wride Memorial Park: $7.5 million park without debt
  • First mountain bike park in Utah County opened in 2009
  • Rec center: partnership with developer will build $5.2 million first phase of rec center (aquatic center) without any debt
  • Total increase of 59% in developed park acres (124 total acres)
    • Doubled number of sport fields
    • 110% increase in playgrounds
  • City wide fiber optic network: city ran telecom company and then sold to Direct Communications who has completed fiber throughout the city, with no financial obligation to the City
  • Rodeo grounds
  • Cemetery

Principles

  • Limited government
    • Public/private partnerships
    • Living lean
      • Employees believe in taking on additional work and responsibilities when necessary
        • Find creative ways to get things done
  • Succession planning
    • Always looking for the next man up, flattening out the organization to allow for more individuals to gain managerial and leadership experience
  • Elected officials
    • Courage to take an unconventional path at times
    • Faithful to a vision of what Eagle Mountain can become
    • Fiscal responsibility with a commitment to providing necessities to taxpayers
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