The Tooele City Council approved a $2.3 million transfer from its solid waste fund to the capital projects fund during its meeting last Wednesday.
The one-time transfer followed a mailed public notice and a public hearing, moving a portion of the solid waste fund’s balance to pay for capital projects and equipment. The solid waste fund handles the City’s trash and recyclable collection.
Included in the transfer amount was $500,000 toward interior furnishing and equipment for the new police station. The city’s $9 million loan through the state’s Permanent Community Impact Fund Board to build the police station can’t be used toward internal furnishing and equipment.
The transfer is also earmarked to cover the costs of four new snowplows, expected to be approximately $960,000, and airpacks for the Tooele City Fire Department.
The city’s snowplows are aging and in need of replacement, according to Tooele City Public Works Director Steve Evans.
A structure to store fire department apparatus on 1000 North was also discussed by the City Council during the 5 p.m. work session last Wednesday, but more discussion was requested by Tooele City Fire Chief Rick Harrison. Concerns about the structural integrity of the current fire station were cited as reasons to explore the additional fire apparatus storage adjacent to the AirMed helicopter pad.
During the public hearing at Wednesday’s meeting, residents questioned how the solid waste fund balance had grown so large, whether the city has implemented a capital equipment replacement plan and if the money could be spent on other projects or equipment.
In the public notice mailed to residents, the City addressed the balance of the solid waste fund, which is funded by fees for trash collection and recycling.
“Due to the fluctuation in various fees paid by the Solid Waste Fund an excess of Fund Balance has been created over many years in this fund,” the notice said. “This trend is not expected to continue as costs are increasing and new services such as community clean up days are now being provided. There are no proposed changes to the fees paid for this service.”