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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Talking Points - Park & Trails Bond Hearing 9-22-20

Ronald Mortensen, Co-Founder,

 It is unfortunate that $27,700 has already been paid to an outside firm which touts its successes in getting bonds passed.

In the past two years, residents have seen a 20% or $24/year increase in the flat-rate customer service charge on their power bills, a new $24/year street light fee, a rate change that will cost electric users an additional $400,000 per year and a $6/year storm water fee increase.

If this bond passes, Bountiful City property taxes on a $371,000 home will increase by 20% ($32.57 on $166).

The Sewer District is planning to increase sewer fees by an additional $66 per year and its property taxes by roughly 23 dollars per year in 2021. Thatís an $89 per year increase for Bountiful residents.

In Bountiful, those least able to pay are hit the hardest by fees, customer service charges and taxes, including a sales tax on food.

  • For a food insecure family or a senior on a fixed income, $32.57 will buy 25 loaves of bread OR 24 dozen eggs OR 9 pounds of hamburger.

Since the school district is already leveling the property and putting in the sprinkler system and grass, why does the city need $2.5 million for improvements?

Will we be able to at least see a draft of the interlocal agreement with the school district so we will know how much time will be available for non-school related sports activities?

Why are Bountiful residents paying millions of dollars for shared facilities rather than having the School District, which needs the field space, retain the property and allow the public to use the fields?

Given Bountifulís lack of retail space, could this property, near the intersection of 5th West and 5th South, be used for retail?

Can residents be assured that the costs will not be higher than currently projected? I would note that the approved budget for the Town Square or Plaza is now over $9 million and the approved budget for the City Hall Renovation is over $8 million.

Why doesnít the Trails Advisory Committee raise private funds for trails improvements like the veterans are doing for the Bountiful Veterans Park?

Finally, are signs in favor of the bond required to include a notice of who paid for them and can they be placed in park strips?

Based on the above, I would encourage a No vote on this bond.

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