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Monday, November 21, 2005

Eagle Mountain Redemption

By Senator Howard Stephenson
District 11

As a frequent critic of waste in government, I feel an obligation to give credit when government gets it right. The City of Eagle Mountain is an example of good government. But it was not always so.

At the end of 2001, this new city northwest of Utah Lake was under suffocating debt. State-required audits had been neglected for years, and city owned utilities were awash in red ink with citizens paying sky high user rates.

Investors and developers were fleeing the town, and parts of the municipality had discussed de-annexation. But four years later the booming city west of Utah Lake is getting attention for its conversion into a model of sound management and better government.

In four years the city’s debt was reduced by over $12 million: from $63.5 million down to $51.5 million. It has also moved towards privatizing utilities and is currently waiting for FCC approval of the sale of the telecommunications system, which will reduce the city’s debt by another $4.3 million.

By adopting a pay as you go philosophy, Eagle Mountain keeps taxes lower while providing essential government services. With sound spending and budgeting policies in place, Eagle Mountain officials have avoided disaster and created conditions for success.

Congratulations and thanks to the Eagle Mountain officials who put the town back on the right track.
Utah Taxpayer’s Association’s November newsletter (see page four).

Daily Herald Article

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