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Layton City’s careful planning, spending pays off

Article Published 08/09/2013
Central Davis Jr High School Gymnasium
Layton City is prospering during poor economic times, thanks to careful planning and frugal spending over the years.
In addition, the City has kept its certified property tax rate stable for over 25 years.
During the economic downturn that began in 2008, Layton City has been fortunate that is has not had to lay off any employees, or reduce service levels due to lack of funding.
Here are some of the ways Layton City has been wise in its planning and spending:
-For the last 20 years, the City has followed a “pay-as-you-go” philosophy. The City has been able to avoid debt and pay up front for its new facilities and public works projects.
-When the City built its current City Hall in 1989, it included an unfinished basement that has been used for growth, as needed – greatly postponing the need for a larger City Hall.
-Over 20 years ago, the City established a partially self-funded group health insurance plan that has served the City and its employees well.  Costs have been far more stable than those associated with traditional health insurance plans.
-When the City needed a new gymnasium to meet the needs of its growing recreation program, it entered into an agreement with the Davis School District to share the cost and construct a larger, joint use facility at Central Davis Junior High in 2002 – saving both entities money. The Junior High uses the facility during week days, while City recreation uses it evenings, weekends and holidays. The City did the same thing at Legacy Junior High when it was built in 2008.
-At the beginning of the economic downturn in 2008, the City immediately began reviewing ways to reduce budgets. Some cost saving measures included:
oTrimming travel and training budgets by at least 20% and restricting out-of-state travel;
oReviewing employee responsibilities and reducing the number of employees authorized to take a city vehicle home to respond to after-hours emergencies
oWhen a Layton City employee terminates or retires, the position is carefully re-evaluated before it is filled. Since 2008, three vacated positions have remained unfilled.
Despite these efforts, there are still plenty of challenges ahead that will require careful planning and responsible decision making. Elected officials and Staff are committed to continue their best efforts to keep the City in a strong financial condition.