The Kanab City Council meeting was a buzz on Tuesday, April 26, as Mayor Nina Laycook officially declared May 18 as Arbor Day in Kanab. Events will be held that day at the city baseball diamonds, beginning at 9 a.m. Proper tree care will be discussed, along with planting a variety of 13 trees. Everyone has been given an open invitation to come and support Arbor Day and celebrate as Kanab has been awarded the Tree City USA award for three years running.

In other city council news, City Manager Duane Huffman discussed the tentative budget for 2011-2012. Revenue for transient room tax that was implemented this year is noted as being $34,600 for a partial year. For year 2011/2012, it looks as the though taxes went up for transient room tax, but $92,000 is over the course of an entire year, not a partial year. It is the same thing with the municipal energy tax. This year partial estimate is $55,000, with the entire 2011/2012 tentative budget being $93,000.

“The other large sales tax that we get is the resort city sales tax. It is a sales tax that cities are eligible for based on the percentage of hotel beds, RV spaces, anything like that versus the total population. You have to meet a certain threshold to qualify for that. Only a handful of cities in the state have qualified for this,” Huffman said. “The types of cities that generally have very large tourist bases like we do.”

Resort city sales tax is expected to bring in revenue of $542,130 during fiscal year 2011/2012, according to the tentative budget. An average of $3,000,000 is estimated for revenue in fiscal year 2011/2012.

Budget discussions also included general fund expenditures. One big difference people may notice is the change in last year’s estimate of $6,500 for animal control. This year the estimate jumped $27,268.

“We had traditionally included the animal control officer salary in the police department budget and the animal control expenditures in its own line item. As I have reviewed this, I think it makes more sense to have his salary come out of the animal control line, as well as the expenditures for animal control. It doesn’t affect the bottom line, it is just a structural way of how we display our expenditures,” Huffman said.” When people look at animal control, they’re going to expect the salary there rather than at the police department.”

Some of the overall changes that are reflected in this fiscal year budget relate to city employees. The personnel policy as it currently stands requires that employees or states of employees will get a 3 percent merit pay increase on their anniversary date and a cost of living raise at the beginning of the fiscal year, which will be July 1. It was also discussed having the employees share in the cost of health insurance premiums. Rather than having the city pay 100 percent of the premiums, the employees would pay five percent. This has only been proposed or discussed. It is not definite.

“We are scheduled to adopt the tentative budget tonight. Changes can be made to the document before you. This is not the official or final budget. It is a tentative budget that will be available in the city offices that folks can review,” Huffman said. “At the end of this process tonight, a time and date will be set for a public hearing to review or discuss any item they would like as part of this budget before it is adopted.”

A public hearing has been set for May 24, 2011 for the adoption and discussion of fiscal year 2011/2012 budget.