Bluff to place financial surplus into savings
The town of Bluff is in good shape financially, with about a $220,000 surplus from their budget year ending in June.
The Bluff Town Council is working to make plans for the surplus, and Bluff’s hired accountant Jon Haderlie has suggested that the city place the funds into a Utah Public Treasurers’ Invest Fund (PTIF) savings account.
The PTIF is available to state and local government entities as a short-term cash investment vehicle. In a work meeting on June 7, the council came to a general consensus that they would like to see the funds placed in a PTIF. The council plans to vote on the plan at their June 8 meeting (after the press deadline).
The town council is pleased with the cushion as the town is still attempting to negotiate with the San Juan School District to purchase the old Bluff Elementary School. Additionally, the town has plans to hire a bookkeeper and town manager.
The council is still working out details about the duties of the positions, but job listings are expected in the coming weeks.
The council is also close to developing a short term rental policy. The latest proposal would allow short-term rentals throughout the commercial zone in the city.
To limit short-term rentals in the residential zone of Bluff, the town would give a deadline to allow property owners running short-term rentals to apply for a $25 annual business license and a required permit for each unit they run in the residential zone in Bluff.
After the imposed deadline, no other property owners in the residential zone of Bluff could apply for a permit to run a short-term rental.
The deadline and how long the permits last were a point of disagreement at the June 7 town council work meeting. The hope was to iron out those details by their meeting June 8 (after the press deadline).
Some council members wish for an early deadline to only allow those currently running short-term rentals to hold a permit in the residential area. Others advocate for a September or October deadline, to allow property owners in the town a chance to make a decision about short-term rentals.
Another point of dispute is how long the permits should last. Some members of the council argue that once a property owner sells the property, the permit should expire. Others argue that the permits should transfer if the properties are sold.
Other ongoing issues the town is addressing includes the removal of old tires, which can act as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and preparations for anticipated American Rescue Plan Act funds.