Council considers RAP tax allocations, RFP audits, impact fee rates

CEDAR CITY — With $146,334 available in RAP taxes for the arts and $208,055 requested by 13 applicants, $292,668 available and $563,056 requested by parks and recreation, the Cedar City Council considered the allocated amounts at Wednesday’s council work meeting.

RAP tax committee member for the arts Joanne Brattain said all the $208,055 could be spent well for the 13 applicants. Suzuki Strings is the only new applicant this year, she said.

“I want to thank Don for being on the board and being aware of the priorities for the RAP tax,” Brattain said, speaking of City Councilor Don Marchant.

The objective of the committee is to make sure money is being spent to benefit the Cedar City community and its artistic outlets.

“She has done an extremely excellent job managing the arts,” Marchant said of Brattain. “ The committee is very amicable and the respect goes both ways. Just how Joanne and the other groups responded, it was very respectable.”

Councilor Fred Rowley encouraged that smaller groups get more money to help their growth.

“The impact it has on children and the community is a big part of what Cedar City is,” Rowley said, “and why (money) was voted back again.”

The allocations will be up for approval in the Aug. 13 City Council meeting.

The arts groups seek donations during the year as another means to help their cause, Brattain said.

“We continue to seek funding so we are not all just relying on RAP Tax,” she said.

While the Master Singers like to give free concerts every year, Brattain said, the committee encourages them to put out a donation jar.

The parks and recreation’s $292,668 is well under the request of $563,056, City Attorney Paul Bittmenn said.

“We have notes on spreadsheets for specific projects so the board can see what is needed,” Bittmenn said. “Leisure Services asked for $105,000 for a project on Main Street. The board offered $35,000 down for RAP Tax.”

Councilor John Black said he has a concern giving the money.

I have a hard time giving money to someone who doesn’t have funding in place or not knowing what the project is,” Black said. “We need to wait and have them come in and say ‘Here’s our money, here’s our project and we are short this much money and we are ready to go with the project.’”

Other issues discussed at the work meeting were requests for proposal audits in engagement services for the 2014-2016 fiscal years, and the possibility of extending the existing impact of rate fees in the community.

Certified Public Accountants Kimball & Roberts out of Richfield is one applying to do the audit. The CPA assured the council they would do a good job as they have a strong reputation.

Regarding impact fees, the council set an approval in 2011 for the staff to conduct an impact fee study in 2016, Bittmenn said.

Council agreed to find ways to keep the fees low.

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