Mayor Biskupski’s First Budget Prioritizes Economic Development

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Mayor Jackie Biskupski released the details of her first budget since taking office. The mayor said she’s fixed a $10 million dollar shortfall, but is calling for increases in spending for certain things.

She notes one of the biggest issues facing the budget is debt brought on through Capitol Improvement Projects approved since 1999. While the mayor said these projects have been important they have but a strain on future spending.

“Our payments on debt serviced through CIP will nearly double,” said Mayor Biskupski . The cash available to fund pay as you go projects will drop in half for the next four years.”

To help the problem the mayor suggested taking maintenance for city parks and buildings out of the CIP. She said by keeping them in it prioritizes wants over needs. 

Under her budget proposal all city employees would see a 1.5 percent increase in pay. Along with another raise for employees whose salary isn’t up to market value.

Another of her big investments calls for a 50 percent increase in road and sidewalk construction and maintenance. Mayor Biskupski wants to focus the projects on the West side and in industrial areas.

She wants the improvements to go in areas that would see the most economic activity.

Council Chair James Rodgers said the budgeting process has a long ways to go, but applauds what the mayor has outlined so far.

“To see her align with our council priorities this year which is affordable housing, economic development, and infrastructure that’s key for Salt Lake CIty.”

Councilman Rodgers notes it’s the first time in awhile the mayors budget and council priorities have aligned so well.

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