Road project boosts local economy
Salt Lake County is investing $1.9 million on a road project that will pave the way for business growth. About 40 businesses currently operate in an area known as "Camp Kearns" for its World War II history, and there's room for more. Muddy, unkempt roads have been a barrier to attracting new businesses and growing existing ones. The project - that will be finished by Summer 2018 - will pave 1.5 miles of road. With the promise of paved roads, a trucking company plans to locate here and existing businesses have expansion plans.
2018 Salt Lake County budget finalized
Last night, the Salt Lake County Council passed a $1.3 billion net budget for 2018 that prioritizes public safety and economic development. The budget includes no tax increase while prioritizing money to open and run two unused pods in the Oxbow Jail and other efforts to boost criminal justice work.
The 2018 budget is an example of local elected officials working across the aisle in order to fund critical services for our residents while at the same time ensuring the budget is balanced. It responds to our top responsibility as a metro government—keeping our communities safe, effectively managing the Justice Reinvestment Initiative and reducing the repeat cycle of drug buying, arrest and release.
More information about the 2018 budget
Free Fare Friday
Today I joined Salt Lake City Council members and Utah Transit Authority President Jerry Benson to announce UTA trains and buses will be free this Friday, December 22. The purpose is to encourage more people to try out public transit, learn the routes, and hopefully learn how we can drive less to improve air quality.
I joined this effort because I know inversions can be frustrating and scary. Like many Utahns, I’m frustrated when my kids tell me they had to stay indoors from recess, due to the smog alerts. I don’t like it when visitors come to Salt Lake and can’t see our snow-capped mountains and blue skies. We’ve known for years that the primary pollutant is PM 2.5 – tiny particulate matter that is emitted from burning fuel.
Vehicles account for 57 percent of wintertime air emissions – that’s the gasoline-powered cars and trucks that most of us drive. It makes sense that the fewer number of those vehicles that are on the road during an inversion means less pollution going into the air we breathe. If more of us are able to leave our cars at home and take transit, we can make a difference in lowering the pollution and breathing cleaner air.
Immigration Reform Roundtable
Today I joined members of the local business community, faith groups, and elected officials to discuss why Congress needs to act now to protect young people from being deported. One of those young people is Ciriac Alvaraz Valle who shared her story with us today. Ciriac is a Utah student who was brought here when she was just five years old. She follows strict rules to regularly renew her permission to be here – in the only country she’s ever known. Ciriac only has 650 days left until her status expires, and there are thousands more like her. If Congress doesn’t act on DACA, she will be forced to leave her home.
The clock is ticking for thousands of Dreamers in Utah who are working, studying, serving in our military, and contributing to the only home country they have ever known. Providing a path for them to stay and continue to build their futures can and should be something that unites us. Finding a solution for Dreamers, many of them well-educated, talented, and hard-working is a win for our economy as well.
Take a look at the positive economic impact immigration has on our local economy.
Salt Lake Tribune story about the event.
Utah Dreamer Ciriac Alvaraz Valle speaks to local leaders at the Immigration Reform Roundtable
Season of giving
This holiday season, two county agencies –
Youth Services and
Aging & Adult Services– are accepting gifts for the people they serve. Giving trees with ornaments that name requested items are located in the lobbies of the north and south buildings of the Salt Lake County Government Center at 2100 South State Street. The gifts received over the holidays are used year-round to help kids and seniors get by with basics, like sweatshirts, backpacks, and toothpaste.
A complete list of
Youth Services’ needs can be found online. Unwrapped gifts for youth can be dropped off at any
Salt Lake County library throughout the valley, or in my office located in the north building of the county government center until December 15th.
If you’re able to donate to
Aging & Adult Services, consider hygiene items or gift cards to Smith’s, Target, or Wal-Mart. Those gifts are accepted at Aging & Adult Services on the first floor of the south building at the county government center until December 13th.
I know not everyone is able to give a little extra this holiday season, but for those who can, I hope you’ll consider helping some of the kids and seniors Salt Lake County serves.