Tooele County Recreation Special Service District’s administrative control board approved 18 projects totaling $144,440 for their 2020 grant cycle.
The budgeted amount for 2020 recreation grants was $145,000.
Mark McKendrick, a member of the Service District’s administrative control board, presented the approved grant requests at the July 21 County Commission meeting.
There appeared to be some confusion about whether or not the Service District’s grants needed to be approved by the County Commission.
A few checks for projects have already been written, because in the past the County Commission has not approved the grant proposals after they were approved by the Service District board, according to McKendrick.
According to research completed after the county commission meeting, Tooele County Auditor Alison McCoy said the Tooele County Recreation Special Service District was created by the Tooele County Commission in November of 1989.
According to the resolution creating the district, the district is a “separate body politic and corporate and a quasi-municipal public corporation distinct from Tooele County, Utah.”
The resolution creates a five member administrative control board. Full power and authority to exercise rights, power, and authority of the service district, including without limitation all the powers provided in state code for special service districts is granted to the board by the resolution. The resolution notes that the board does not have authority to levy a property tax or issue bonds payable from taxes.
Board members are appointed by the County Commission.
The revenue source for the service agency is a portion of the mineral lease fund revenue that the County receives from the state.
The Service District has their own checking account, separate from the County.
The Service District is not audited by the County’s independent auditors, but their financial information is included with the County’s financial information as a component unit.
According to those financial statements, for the year ending Dec. 31, 2019, the Tooele County Special Service District had $138,278 of revenue in 2019 and $150,116 in expenses for a net $11,838 of expenses above revenue. The district ended 2019 with a cash balance of $154,058.
The district was created for the purpose of “furnishing recreation services and facilities within the area of its boundaries…,” according to the resolution.
The boundaries of the district are all of Tooele County, except any city or town located in the County and the boundaries of the Stansbury Recreation Service Agency, according to the 1989 resolution.
Tooele County Commissioner Kendall Thomas said he would like to see the Service District’s grant process changed to be more like the Tourism Board’s grant process.
The Tourism Board makes recommendations to the County Commission, with the County Commission having the authority to change the grant amount before they approve them.
According to state code the legislative body that creates an administrative control board may at any time modify, limit, or revoke any right, power, or authority delegated to the board.
“It’s not that we think the Recreation Service District Board has done anything improper in the past,” said Thomas. “We just want to make sure there is transparency.”
The Tooele Recreation Service District Board of Control posts meeting agendas and minutes on the County’s agenda website, https://agenda.tooeleco.org/.
They also submit their approved annual budget and financial statements to the Utah State Auditor, as required by state code.