By Aaron Castleton
The Utah County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the 2004 tax rate levies for Utah County and also made changes to the local fire department Tuesday, July 27.
The board approved a slight increase in tax rate levies from last year, establishing 0.001065 percent as the rate to be used in 2004.
Cary McConnell, financial analyst for Utah County, said he was optimistic about the approval.
“The state tax commission will now have to certify that percentage before it is sent out to residents at the end of October,” McConnell said. “The slight increase in percentage this year will provide funding for numerous organizations, including Nebo School District and Utah Water.”
Estimating the amount of county taxes for 2004 homeowners can be done fairly easily by multiplying the taxable property value by the established 0.001065 percent.
“Given the assessed value of a property is estimated at $130,000 the county tax would be approximately $138,” McConnell said.
Also included in Tuesday”s meeting were the approval and adoption of numerous Utah County Fire Department ordinances.
“We will still have a fire warden based out of the sheriff”s department,” said Jeff Mendenhall, director of community development. “However, the fire marshal should be a part of the Utah County Community Development department.”
The change of venue for the county fire marshal will not dissolve his duties in any way. However, appeals to the fire department will now be directed elsewhere.
“If people want to make an appeal to the fire department, they would need to go through the sheriff”s office,” Commissioner Jerry Grover said.
The Board of Commissioners also amended the minimum requirements for the county”s fire hydrants.
“Almost nobody in the county can meet the required 500 gallons per minute flow rate,” Mendenhall said. “They are only getting about 200 gallons per minute.”
With the prospect of another scorching summer evident in Utah County, meeting the National Fire Protection Association guidelines for hydrant flow is essential.
Utah County resident Michael Jack said he is concerned with the lack of water pressure coming from the hydrants.
“Our county needs to be conforming with national regulations,” he said. “If we were unable to put out a fire because of faulty pressure from the fire hydrants, it would be disastrous.”