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Salt Lake County Regional Development News

Salt Lake County Among Just 5 Organizations Nationally Awarded Millions for New Innovative Housing Program

April 09, 2021

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Salt Lake County has been a leading organization across the U.S. in healthy home programs and was awarded a $1 million grant by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) this week as part of an innovative program to fill the gaps in eliminating housing-related health issues for vulnerable children and seniors.

With the funds, Salt Lake County will work with established partners like Utah Community Action Weatherization, and half a dozen others, to help 120 homes with severely ill children and senior residents that have respiratory issues, beginning this summer.

“It’s a big compliment to us to receive this grant,” Salt Lake County Housing Program Manager Randy Jepperson said, “because it was very competitive. But we’ve developed a unique approach not seen anywhere else in the country that has been very effective and cost efficient in helping residents with asthma triggers, energy efficiency and improving their air quality in a way that changes their quality of life, while also saving them and their health care provider money.”

Homes will be assessed for hazards like radon gas, lead-based paints, trip and fall hazards, as well as energy efficiency and indoor air quality. Then, they will undergo a rehab plan for intervention.

Referrals come from health care partners like University of Utah Health and Intermountain Healthcare for households with individuals struggling with uncontrolled respiratory conditions and housing repair needs —among communities with the highest incidence of visits to hospitals for asthma care.

This pilot program is the first time there has been a grant to help households mitigate asthma triggers. Asthma costs have been on the rise in Utah; since 2014, asthma-related emergency department charges have increased by about 130%. South Salt Lake, a target area of the program, is among the highest rates of asthma emergency department visits in the state, according to the Utah Department of Health.

“Salt Lake County has one of the best healthy homes programs in the country, and we didn’t shut down during the pandemic,” Housing and Community Development Director Michael Gallegos said. “We continued to work, and that helped us keep momentum and be able to apply for and obtain this grant to further expand our work to make homes safe and healthy for our most vulnerable Salt Lake County residents.”

Salt Lake County created the Green & Healthy Homes coalition with 13 partners nearly eight years ago to improve the safety of homes and subsequently improve the health of local families. Since then, it’s made a difference for at least 200 families.

April 2021 Project Update for Mill Creek Canyon Federal Land Access Program (FLAP) Project

April 08, 2021

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The USDA Forest Service, Salt Lake County, and Millcreek (the Partners) applied for FLAP and were shortlisted in 2020 to explore a scope of work and cost estimate for improvements in the Mill Creek Canyon transportation corridor. A proposed scope of work and project cost estimate now needs to be approved by Utah Program Development Committee (PDC) in coordination with the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) in Spring of 2021.

What is FLAP? 

FLAP improves transportation facilities providing access to, near, or within federal lands. 

Who is Making the Decisions?  

The Utah PDC develops its own process and evaluation criteria. Members include representatives from:

  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) – Federal Lands Highway Division Office 
  • Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT)
  • A representative from a political subdivision of the State – the Utah Association of Counties

The Partners have been working together weekly in collaboration with the FHWA Central Federal Lands (CFL) and decided to begin at the top of the canyon and work our way down depending upon funding availability. We are working to identify potential funding for the required local match and possibly completing other projects/options identified by FHWA CFL and the Partners in the canyon for which we have a scope of work, cost estimates, and preliminary design.

What Projects Will Be Completed?

To complete all the transportation improvement projects identified in Mill Creek Canyon, the cost estimate is $38,000,000. FLAP grants are limited to $12,000,000 per project, or if the project is larger, then per phase. Working with FHWA, the Partners have divided the Mill Creek Canyon project into two phases. If successful in securing funding for Phase 1, the Partners will apply for future funding from FLAP to complete Phase 2.

Phase 1 Project Scope: 

Improvements between Elbow Fork and Big Water Trailhead

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Total Project Cost Estimate: $14,600,000
Total Revenue: $12,812,400
FLAP Federal Share: $12,000,000
6.77% required local match: $812,400
Outstanding project funding needs: $1,787,600

Project Not Funded by the FLAP, but is a Priority in Phase 1:

  • Relocation of the fee booth to Salt Lake County property. Consideration of 2nd lane would be included in a 2nd FLAP Grant. 
  • Amount of funds to be raised: $300,000

Federal Highway Administration Central Federal Land Scope of Work

Phase 1 – Big Water Trailhead to Elbow Fork

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Roadway Improvements
  1. Construct 11-foot wide lanes with 1-foot wide shoulders to accommodate cyclists sharing the road through this narrow canyon area
    • Full roadway reconstruction
    • Realign roadway and reconstruct stream at Thousand Springs to widen roadway and to mitigate roadway flooding/overtopping (includes streambed channel realignment and wetland mitigation) 
    • Extend recently installed box culverts to meet roadway width requirements (add headwalls and wingwalls)
  2. Reconstruct and expand Big Water Trailhead parking area 
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Parking/Trailheads and Safety Improvements
  1. Improve Alexander Basin, Clover Springs Picnic Area, and Fir Crest Picnic Area parking/trailhead areas 
  2. Improve pedestrian crossing safety at Elbow Fork Trailhead; with potential advanced warning signage, appropriate motorist warning systems at crossings, and pavement markings 
  3. Install a 2-inch diameter conduit along road shoulder to support future monitoring and emergency communications in the canyon 
  4. Improve roadside safety, including increased sight distance and increased clear zone free of obstructions along the roadside

With Future Additional Funding

Phase 1 will include planning and design of future phases to take advantage of any funding available after Phase 1 in complete.
Learn more about the Mill Creek Canyon FLAP Project at


Contact Toby Lowry at or Helen Peters at 385-229-0844 or

Miss our West General Plan Community Engagement Meetings in March?

April 02, 2021

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In March 2021, Salt Lake County Regional Development held four different virtual community meetings and invited residents to attend to learn more about the West General Plan process and share your feedback. Recordings of those meetings are now available for playback or for viewing if you missed the events!

Salt Lake County is preparing the West General Plan, which focuses on unincorporated areas in the western portion of the County. When completed, this General Plan will provide a big picture guide for officials and residents to use to prepare for growth and conservation efforts over the next 20-50 years.

The meetings were broken down into four categories:

  • Great Salt Lake Shoreline (Salt Lake City, Magna, and North Salt Lake)
  • Central Oquirrhs (West Jordan, Copperton, South Jordan, Herriman)
  • North Oquirrhs (Magna, West Valley, Kearns)
  • Southwest Oquirrhs & Traverse Mountains (Herriman, Riverton, Bluffdale, High Country, Camp Williams)

Click on the different meetings below to be taken to the recording and watch the meeting, which is linked on Regional Development's YouTube Channel.

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Learn more about the West General Plan, and get involved, at There you can also submit questions or comments about the plan.

Salt Lake County Deploys Pilot Program to Connect More Diverse Businesses with Resources

March 30, 2021

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Salt Lake County is concerned about a K-shaped economic recovery from the pandemic, where some communities recover more slowly than others, and how this would make opportunity gaps that existed prior to the pandemic even more severe.

As a part of Salt Lake County’s continuous and evolving economic recovery efforts, a new program — Economic Inclusion Community Assistance Program — is being launched to address gaps in connecting diverse business owners with existing resources, which have otherwise remained underutilized or unknown

County leaders want to leverage community organizations’ relationships to help connect diverse businesses with the support they need to recover from the pandemic’s effects and achieve long-term success. 

“We believe community partners have the existing relationships, established networks, and cultural awareness necessary to effectively assist diverse business owners experiencing the devastating financial impacts of the pandemic, and this program will facilitate that one-on-one connection,” said Samantha Mary Thermos, Salt Lake County COVID-19 Economic Recovery Program Manager.

The program will specifically fund partners that work with businesses in communities experiencing economic opportunity gaps, including: African American, Black, Hispanic, Latinx, Native American, Asian-Pacific, Subcontinent Asian American, women, persons with disabilities, veterans, socially or economically disadvantaged businesses, and businesses located in areas with lower economic opportunity.

“I’m proud of the high levels of economic opportunity Salt Lake County has achieved, but we still have important work to do around inclusion,” said Jevon Gibb, Salt Lake County Economic Development Director. “Some communities are getting left behind, and COVID-19 has made that trend worse. All too often, this lack of opportunity goes overlooked. We’re excited to work with partners to help these communities achieve their potential, which will create a stronger economy for everybody in Salt Lake County.”

Organizations interested in applying and participating in the program can visit or contact Samantha Mary Thermos at

Applications are open March 29 - April 7, 2021. A recording of a webinar, and accompanying slides, reviewing the program are available at