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Salt Lake County Regional Development News

UCAIR Donates 200 Smart Thermostats to Salt Lake County Green & Healthy Homes Initiative to Reduce Emissions, Improve Air Quality


June 28, 2022

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Nest thermostat.png

SALT LAKE COUNTY – The Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) generously donated 200 smart thermostats to Salt Lake County’s Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, which serves low- to moderate income families with health conditions worsened by their home environment. Hundreds of Salt Lake County homes will soon reduce their emissions and improve health conditions for those housed.

“Air quality continues to be at the front of Utahns minds,” said Kim Frost, Executive Director of UCAIR. “We are thrilled to partner with Maverik and Big West Oil to provide smart thermostats to Utah households that experience greater effects of air pollution. With the implementation of energy efficient technology, such as smart thermostats, we will see benefits to our air shed.”

Households at higher risks of air pollution will both save money and have cleaner air by reducing NOx emissions that come from natural gas combustion. Smart thermostats also have features, for example, that remind households when air filters need to be changed.

The Nest Smart thermostats that will be installed will save families 10-12 percent on heating bills and 15 percent on cooling bills. Those savings average from $131-$145 each year.

“As we push towards a more sustainable future, it is important for the most vulnerable among us not to be left behind,” Michael Shea, Salt Lake County Sustainability Director, said. “Which is why we are incredibly excited for our partnership with UCAIR on the SMART thermostat program. This will help further the goals of the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative to improve air quality both indoors and out for at-risk-households.”

Other Salt Lake County households interested in switching to smart thermostats to save energy and improve Utah’s air quality, that might not qualify for the Salt Lake County Green & Healthy Homes program, can find rebate programs available from organizations like Rocky Mountain Power or Dominion Energy’s ThermWise Program.

For more information about the Salt Lake County Green & Healthy Homes program, including healthy tips and how to apply, visit https://slco.org/green-healthy-homes.

About UCAIR

UCAIR is a statewide clean air partnership created to make it easier for individuals, businesses, and communities to make small changes to improve Utah’s air. UCAIR is committed to furthering energy efficiency and air quality benefits by offering community energy efficiency implementation programs. Learn more about UCAIR at www.ucair.org.


Salt Lake County Adopts West General Plan


May 17, 2022

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Image of the Oquirrh Mountains Courtesy of Jake Young

SALT LAKE COUNTY – The County Council voted to adopt the West General Plan, guiding the long-term vision for conservation and development in the westernmost unincorporated areas of the County, after four years of planning and engagement with municipalities and stakeholders.

The Plan’s area has a diverse geography, from the shorelines of the Great Salt Lake to the Oquirrh Mountains and south to the Traverse Mountains. The Plan serves as a starting conversation for the region to manage the growth that is coming.

“We want to come to a cohesive regional solution together,” said Helen Peters, Salt Lake County Planning & Transportation director. “The West General Plan is innovative in its vision and the result of years of listening and collaboration.”

During the 4-year process, Salt Lake County met with the eight bordering municipalities, landowners, stakeholders, the military, and the public more than 125 times.

“Early on, we set the standard with the team that the County would engage more with stakeholders and the public in this planning process than ever before,” Mayor Jenny Wilson said. “It takes a village to establish a vision for the future. I’m grateful to the municipalities, landowners, and residents who invested their time to produce the final plan we have today. The West General Plan will be critical to smart growth in our unincorporated areas.”

Surveys of thousands of residents showed top concerns in the Plan area were traffic and transportation, housing, air quality, and water. The Plan outlines goals and strategies for three elements required by the State: land use; housing; and transportation.

“As we deal with tremendous growth issues in the valley, planning for the future is critical,” said Salt Lake County Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton. “This plan allows us to advocate for additional infrastructure to maintain quality of life as our population expands.”

But Salt Lake County also included five additional elements of importance in the Plan: environment and conservation; water conservation; parks, trails, and recreation; economy; utilities and public safety.

Courtesy of Audubon

The plan’s inclusion of and vision for water conservation is unique – a first in a County general plan and incorporated before 2022 Legislative action. It also emphasizes planned communities and smart growth for the open land that remains in the west. An important part of that is conservation and space for recreation and trails. Both will positively impact the valley’s air, as well as residents’ health and quality of life.

Multiple entities support the adoption of the West General Plan, including Salt Lake County Planning Commission, South Jordan, West Jordan, Salt Lake City, Bluffdale, Herriman, Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, and Rio Tinto Kennecott.

“Salt Lake County’s West General Plan sets realistic expectations for future growth on the west side for infrastructure needs,” said West Jordan Mayor Dirk Burton. “It also provides a great jumping-off point for growth-related discussions with neighboring municipalities, as well as County officials, moving forward.”

To explore the different parts of the West General Plan, visit https://slco.org/west-plan.


$94.3 Million in Rental Relief Given to Salt Lake County Residents through April 2022, New Partners Reaching Out to Diverse Communities


May 16, 2022

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Many Salt Lake County residents face housing instability from impacts of COVID-19, so Salt Lake County is joining with new partners to get millions of more dollars in Emergency Rental Assistance funds to renters.

Salt Lake County has partnered with the services and expertise of:

These new partners will educate communities and address diverse language needs by providing direct outreach and assistance on how to apply. By doing this, we aim to reach those who need the most help.

Funding comes from the U.S. Treasury’s 2021 American Rescue Plan Act.

More than $94.3 million in emergency rental assistance has been granted in rent relief for Salt Lake County residents since March 2021. Anyone who lives in Salt Lake County is still eligible if:

  • They have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in income during or due, directly, or indirectly, to COVID OR can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability
  • They have a household income at or below 80% of area median income. In Salt Lake County, that is $73,750 or less for a household of 4 people.

If you know someone who might need help, please share this information with them. Applications can be filled out at https://rentrelief.utah.gov. If anyone needs help figuring out the application process, there are also dedicated partners ready to walk through the paperwork with individuals, in many languages.