March 15, 2022
Pocatello for Accountable Government Entities (P.A.G.E.) is alerting the public about a proposal in front of the Pocatello City Council to subsidize the SkyWest Airlines service to/from Pocatello with up to $800,000 per year of taxpayer money. The proposal is on the agenda for the Thursday, March 17, 2022, City Council meeting.
On their social media site, P.A.G.E. writes the following:
“IMPORTANT for all Pocatello taxpayers.
On Thursday, 03/17/22 at the Pocatello City Council meeting (6 p.m.), the Council will deliberate and/or take action on whether to subsidize SkyWest up to $800,000 to maintain one daily roundtrip Skywest flight retroactive back to January 1, 2022 if Skywest’s costs exceed revenue. The subsidization ends December 31, 2022 or until the funds are exhausted. Skywest is reportedly losing a minimum of $50K -$60K per month on the Pocatello flight.
AGENDA ITEM #13:
(a) “Approve and authorize the Mayor to sign a transportation agreement with SkyWest Airlines to provide once daily air service between Pocatello and Salt Lake City. If costs exceed revenue, the City will pay a subsidy to SkyWest for the service. The term of the agreement will be 12 months or until the subsidy funds have been exhausted, whichever comes first. The maximum subsidy for the 12-month period is $800,000.00;
PENDING CONTRACT: 3280 (pocatello.us)
NOT reported in the ISJ article: (See attachment/quotes below)
City Financial Policies – Resolution 2017-15
Section II, C. CURRENT FUNDING BASIS (RECURRING REVENUES): “The City shall budget and operate on a current funding basis. Recurring expenditures shall be budgeted and controlled so as not to exceed current revenues. Recurring expenses will be funded exclusively with recurring revenue sources to facilitate operations on a current funding basis.”
Section II D. USE OF NON-RECURRING REVENUES: “Non-recurring revenue sources, such as one-time revenue remittance of fund balance in excess of policy can only be budgeted/used to fund non-recurring expenditures, such as capital purchases or capital improvement projects. This will ensure that recurring expenditures are not funded by non-recurring sources.”
NOTE: Our Financial Policies copy was the same highlighted version created by the former CFO and presented to Council on 10/14/21. WE have added a darker highlight to those sections quoted above.
P.A.G.E. strongly encourages all residents to weigh in on this pending action as it concerns $800,000 of your taxpayer monies. Opinions will vary across the City. Please note there are statements made in the ISJ article which have not been confirmed by the ISJ – especially the statement that the City may be required to pay back the federal funds up to $100M (@ an avg award of $2M/year, that would represent approximately 50 years of awards/@ an avg award of $5M/year, that would represent 10 years of awards. What???)
Unless something changes, there will be NO public comment at the meeting. Please plan to attend the meeting and email the City Council members with your opinion prior to the meeting on Thursday, 03/17/22.