Monday, April 30, 2012

Got Drugs? Got Trees?

Saturday was a busy day at City Hall. Our police department hosted a "Got Drugs?" drop off. Anyone with old prescription medications that need to be disposed off could drop them off to our police officers in the parking lot at City Hall. 

The other fun event was the "Go Green" Arbor Day planting by JetBlue Airways crewmembers and other city volunteers. 

Last Wednesday Taylorsville earned the "Tree City USA" designation. One of the requirements is to do an Arbor Day activity each year, so this was a great opportunity to celebrate the award and get the community garden at City Hall ready.

The new garden boxes were built, and over 30 trees were planted. Taylorsville residents can pay a small fee to use the Community Garden, which is the second one in the city. To reserve a space, residents can call Toni Lenning at 801-414-4192.

Special thanks to the JetBlue employees who came to help and the members of our LARP committee!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

City Council Apr. 25, 2012 - Tree Awards and Earthquake Reports

The City Council began with a resolution supporting Arbor Day 2012 in the City of Taylorsville. It encourages businesses and residents to celebrate Arbor Day. This Saturday city residents and JetBlue Airways employees will be planting 30+ trees and getting the second community garden built in the city. The resolution was passed unanimously.

Monnica Manuel was appointed unanimously to the Ordinance Review Committee. 

Scott Zeidler from the State Foresters Office presented the Tree City USA award to the City of Taylorsville.

"I appreciate the work the LARP (Leisure Activities Recreation and Parks) committee has done over the years in bringing parks and trails and to build civic pride and identity through the use of trees. We appreciate the good work that Taylorsville has done over the years," said Zeidler.

This program is sponsored by the Arbor Day foundation and in conjunction with the National Association of State Foresters  and the USDA Forest Service.

"We welcome you to the cadre of communities in Utah as part of Tree City USA," said Zeidler.

Photo courtesy of Mark McGrath.
(L-R - Councilmember Ernest Burgess, Councilmember Larry Johnson, Scott Zeidler, John Inch Morgan, Council Chair Jerry Rechtenbach, Councilmember Dama Barbour, Councilmember Kristie Overson.)

Economic Development Committee Chair Lee Yates gave a report. He reported that the committee has now formed three sub committees to assist in the city's economic development efforts. The business retention, expansion and visitation committee will visit with more than 50 local businesses each year. The long-range planning committee is charged with compiling all economic development plans and create an easy-to-use, forward-thinking and action-oriented plan. The final sub committee will focus on a web site which will serve the entire economic development committee. Here is the link to the Economic Development Committee web page.

Lisa Schwartz, Emergency Coordinator for Taylorsville, gave a report to the council on the Utah Shakeout and Taylorsville's participation in the statewide earthquake drill. For information on the city's participation, see this previous post on Taylorsville's Shakeout participation.

City Attorney John Brems presented the subject ordinance to amend Title 5 of the Taylorsville Code in regard to the General Business License Fee Schedule and the Good Landlord Program. He relayed that the ordinance provides that no fee will be required to rent to family members. It passed unanimously. 
Finance Director Scott Harrington presented information in regard to the city's contract with West Valley City for animal services. John Inch Morgan clarified that WVC is proposing that Taylorsville adopt the same fee schedule as WVC.  John Brems noted that having the same fee schedule will help avoid confusion and allow for consistent charges across the board. One council member asked if the city can get out of the contract with WVC, but Morgan stressed that the city is not currently contemplating ending the contract, as we have a contractual obligation to pay 18% of WVC's bond for the new animal shelter.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Taylorsville City Awarded “Tree City USA” and Celebrates with Arbor Day Activity

Taylorsville has earned the designation of “Tree City USA” and elected officials will be accepting this award at the city council meeting on Apr. 25 at 6:30 p.m. As part of the celebration, Taylorsville residents are participating with employees of JetBlue Airways in a “Go Green” Arbor Day event on Sat., Apr. 28 at 9 a.m. by planting trees and getting community garden boxes built for the new Community Gardens at City Center.
When Mayor Russ Wall was elected, one of his goals was to become part of “Tree City USA.” “We knew our budget was tight, and we worried about the cost to accomplish this,” said Wall. “Luckily we were able to trade volunteer hours with monetary investment to qualify. We couldn’t have accomplished this without our great volunteers.” 
Some of those volunteers come from the city’s Leisure Activities Recreation and Parks (LARP) committee. Chair Rhetta McIff and other committee members applied for grants, found discounts on trees, and garnered hundreds of volunteers to meet the requirements for “Tree City USA.”
“Interest in Salt Lake County’s “Million Trees” program kicked off several of the tree projects in Taylorsville,” said McIff. “Residents and businesses who plant trees on their property help the city meet the goal of planting 60,000 trees in a 10 year period.” 
Volunteers obtained trees and planted them in six of the nine elementary schools in Taylorsville. Trees were also planted in conjunction with the city’s Redwood Road beautification project, and dozens of volunteers work along the Jordan River cleaning out unhealthy trees.
One of the requirements of the “Tree City USA” award is to do an annual Arbor Day event. JetBlue employees and Taylorsville residents are participating in the “Go Green” event, held on Sat., Apr. 28 at 9 a.m. at Taylorsville City Hall - 2600 W. Taylorsville Blvd (5320 S.). During this event volunteers will build new garden boxes for a Community Garden and over 30 trees will be planted there. Taylorsville residents can pay a small fee to use the Community Garden, which will be the second one in the city. To reserve a space, residents can call Toni Lenning at 801-414-4192.
JetBlue is committed to the cities it serves through support and alignment with not-for-profit organizations that focus on children, education, communities and the environment. Through a variety of programs and activities, JetBlue crewmembers are encouraged to help make an impact and inspire greatness in others through a variety of programs and activities while enriching the lives of individuals and communities across the airline’s network. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Budget Retreat and Work Session - Apr. 18, 2012

Last night the City Council had a budget meeting. This was an opportunity for each council member to discuss things that are important in their district and that they would like to potentially fund in the next budget. The 2012-2013 budget will be presented on May 2.

District 1 - Councilmember Ernest Burgess would like to see the block wall finished on 4100 South up to 1300 West. Burgess feels like public safety is an issue. Village 2 condos has offered to participate in half the cost of updated fencing along 4100 South and 2700 West abutting their property. Burgess would like the city to consider participating with them to clean up that area.

District 2 - Councilmember Kristie Overson is concerned about the Jones Dairy building. She would like to see restrooms brought up to code in the building for students and the public to use. Currently the Granite Technical Institute uses the farm to teach students studying to be a vet. She would also like some funds allocated to put towards the Little Confluence (vacant field by the Jordan River on 4800 S. 600 W.) to make it look nicer as a gateway into our city. She would also like the administration to look into traffic calming devices in District 2.

District 3 - Councilmember Jerry Rechtenbach is very concerned with safe traffic access to 6020 South. He believes the acquisition of Labrum Park will help with that. He is concerned with economic development at the Family Center and along Redwood Road.

District 4 - Councilmember Dama Barbour would like to see a greater police presence and more ordinance enforcement funded for District 4. She would like something to happen at the UDOT property (6200 S. 3400 W.) and is in favor of more trails along the canals for use by residents. Barbour said sidewalks in the older neighborhoods need to be replaced and wants to see better maintenance along city walls.

District 5 - Councilmember Larry Johnson wants to see more code enforcement to get rid of junk in yards. He is supportive of the City Center property being developed and grass maintained. He believes 4700 South needs maintenance and improvements.

Some great news for bikers in Taylorsville... 2700 West will have bike lanes by July 1!

After the Budget Retreat, the Council held their work session.

Following the discussion concerning the appeal of a denial for a conditional animal fanciers permit last month, the Council asked the staff to bring back the applicable ordinances for review. The Council decided that a maximum of six animals made sense. According to Community Development Director Mark McGrath, only two applications to this point have ever exceeded six animals. Since it was a work session, no action took place, but draft changes will be brought back in the near future.

The city attorney opened discussion adjusting the business license fees. If a family member is living with and renting a home from a family member, they would not need to pay a licensing fee. It will come back to the Council for approval on Apr. 25.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Utah Shakeout - Taylorsville update

This morning at 10:15 am, Taylorsville staff participated in the Utah Great Shakeout - the largest earthquake drill Utah has ever seen. 

At 10:15 am, staff did a drop, cover, and hold. Most got under their desks. Here is Mayor Russ Wall "praying" that everything will be okay while he sits under his desk.

Employees grabbed their personal belongings and met in the city council chambers where an EOC (Emergency Operations Center) was set up. Everyone had different functions - some were over financing, others did logistics, some were in a communications JIC (Joint Information Center).

The city's Emergency Management Coordinator wrote injects and had outside people send in phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages, as if they were residents or the media. 

During the exercise the Mayor, Police Chief, Council Members, Engineer and the EOC manager held a press conference to update the public on what was happening in Taylorsville during this disaster.

The State sent people to watch the exercise and evaluate how we did. 
Kevin Holman, an Exercise Training Officer for the State of Utah and an evaluator said, "Taylorsville did an excellent job working together. I was impressed how the staff overcame any difficulties and kept going."

The city used a dummy Facebook account where volunteers posted fake problems in relation to the exercise. A dummy Twitter page was also used to disseminate information.

Assistant Police Chief Wayne Dial acted as the EOC manager. "We could not have done this without the willingness of our volunteers and the enthusiasm of our employees. Now Taylorsville will be better prepared in case of the real thing," Dial said.

Monday, April 16, 2012

1300 West Road Repair Update

Due to the heavy rains and flooding last summer, 1300 West was closed between 5400 South and 5550 South.

Taylorsville City engineers noticed movement on the canal bank and settlement within the roadway, which caused concern for the safety of vehicles. The city had to be very cautious due to the potential hazards created by the utilities in the roadway, including large gas and water lines. They were concerned that the vibrations of vehicles going over the roadway may cause additional movement and immediately closed the road.

Taylorsville engineers had a geotechnical investigation done and based on those results, they determined the best course of action to rebuild the road. 

The road rebuild is coming along nicely. The canal is now covered and is now receiving water in the culvert. It is ahead of schedule and should be finished and opened by May 15.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Taylorsville Participates in Utah Shakeout

The 2012 Great Utah ShakeOut is occurring statewide on April 17th- 19th and begins at 10:15 a.m. Register today!
ShakeOut exercises began in 2008 in California (see ShakeOut history). More than 7.9 million Californians participated in 2010, practicing Drop, Cover, and Hold On and other aspects of family, school, and organizational emergency plans.
We believe that Utah can become much more prepared for earthquakes  and be ready to recover quickly. The ShakeOut has been created to help people and organizations get better prepared for major earthquakes, and practice how to be protected when they happen.
Here are some suggestions on how you, your family and neighborhood can be involved:
  • Your family can check your 72 hour kits on or between the 17th and 19th to see if they have been updated to meet the needs of your family and have been rotated for perishables.
  • Your family can grab your 72 hour kits and meet at a specified location at a specified time. 
  • Take your family radio (FRS radios), determine a frequency and do a radio check with your neighbors.
  • Do a Block Captain/Leader drill ( have block leaders check on their assigned households and report to their designated meeting place for an accountability (who showed up, who didn’t).
  • Do a communication test like a calling/texting/emailing tree.
  • Send someone from your neighborhood as a runner to our area coordinator staging site to report in. 
  • If you have a HAM operator in your neighborhood, have them establish communication with the area coordinator and the assigned HAM operator at your area staging site.
  • Do an inventory of your food storage and water storage and determine if it meets at least the minimum recommendations by FEMA and Be Ready Utah.
  • Practice your Family Emergency Plan.
  • Place a call to your out-of-state contact, make everyone in your family knows the phone number.
  • Check the batteries in your emergency equipment (flashlights, radios, etc.).
  • Do a fire drill and practice your determined evacuation routes and meet at your designated meeting place.
  • Eat some of the supplies in your 72 hour kit so you know if it is something you want to continue putting into it.
  • Check the filters in any of your water filtering devices.
  • Check your first aid kits.
  • Pretend you do not have power for a few hours and determine if there are any issues that you haven’t addressed and need to better prepare for.
  • If you have any medical needs that require electricity, develop a contingency plan and determine if you are prepared adequately to address it.
  • Make sure you have a back-up heating source if the natural gas or electricity is out and develop a contingency plan.
  • Prioritize your preparedness needs and remember to take it one step at a time according to what you can budget.

Here is what the City of Taylorsville staff will be doing for the Shakeout:
A drop, cover and hold drill will start promptly at 10:15 a.m. on April 17.  Immediately following, the City Hall will be evacuated and an accounting of personnel will commence to make sure everyone is present.  Our police department, engineer and inspectors will do a mock inspection prior to re-entry.  Once the building “deemed safe”, staff will return to the building and set up our Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Communications with Salt Lake County Emergency Management will be established and staff will begin our scenario for the exercise until 4 p.m.  
At 4 p.m., neighborhood groups can get involved if they wish to. Any CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) members may gather their team together and meet at their designated staging sites if they would like to.  All Area Coordinators that have been appointed by the city Emergency Management Division will set up their assigned staging sites with their partner HAM operators.  Once that has been completed, they will establish communications with our city Communications Specialist.  Any drills the neighborhoods would like to do are encouraged.  Upon completion, if they would send a "runner" to their Area Staging site and report what kind of drill they did and how it went would be appreciated.  That information will be sent to the City EOC as part of testing the communications.  Area Coordinators and HAM specialists will stay at their sites up until 8 p.m.   
The City will not be participating with the Shakeout on the 18th and 19th but residents can continue to do any drills they would like to on their own.  
A map of the Staging Sites of the Area Coordinators can be found on our website under Emergency Preparedness and CERT.  Area D will stage, however, at the LDS Stake Property at 6250 South and 2200 West instead of at Calvin Smith Elementary for this drill.

Monday, April 9, 2012

2nd Annual
My G.I.F.T. Contest
( G-reen I-deas F-or T-aylorsville

Tell the Taylorsville Green Committee -
"What we can do to help Taylorsville be a more "Green" community."

Win cool prizes!

And, most important, help Taylorsville and the earth!

Contest open to elementary age children ages 5-12 living in Taylorsville 
● Entry must be in writing for grades 4-6 and may include a drawing.
Entry may be in writing or as a drawing for grades k-3.
Entries to be submitted on or before 5:00 p.m. Fri., April 20, 2012

 Grand Prize winner will receive:
- $50 American Express Gift Card!
- 1 day YMCA Camp!

Prize drawing for all entries:
- All entries will be placed into a drawing for additional cool prizes including:
- $25 American Express Gift Cards! - Blue Recycle Bin Banks
- Posters, etc.

Submit your My "G-reen I-dea F-or T-aylorsville" entry to:
Taylorsville City Offices -2600 W. Taylorsville Blvd., 2nd Floor Receptionist 
YMCA - 4223 S. Atherton Dr., Taylorsville
Great Harvest Bread - 6357 S. Redwood Rd., Taylorsville

Please include: Name, Age, School, and Phone Number
(Winners will be announced on the Taylorsville City website and by phone on Fri., May 11, 2012)

Very special thanks to our "Green Sponsors"
* American Express Corporation
* YMCA of Northern Utah
* SL Co Sanitation
* Great Harvest Bread

Our Goal: "Leave the earth and the community I live in, better than I found it." 

For information on last year's event, see this Salt Lake Tribune article.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Update on City Council meeting - Apr. 4, 2012

The Mayor gave his report that Jet Blue will be bringing 50-100 employees for a day of service on Arbor Day, April 28. They will be planting trees at City Hall and will be building the grow boxes for our community gardens at City Hall.

City Engineer John Taylor reported that the Food Pantry expansion is under construction. A new traffic signal is being installed at 5400 South, just west of Bangerter Highway. The 1300 West road reconstruction is ahead of schedule and is almost ready to receive water in the culvert. The road will be done by May 15. The Flex Lanes project is underway on 5400 South. We have been told by UDOT it should be operational by the end of summer.

Kristy Heineman, a new employee to replace Elaine Waegner, was unanimously appointed as a deputy recorder for the city.

A new chair for the Ordinance Review Committee was unanimously appointed by the council. Mitch Haycock has been serving on the committee and is the new chair of the ORC.

The city lobbyist, Dave Nicponski, gave a report on the legislative session. He reported that one of the city's top priorities was to secure $4 million from the state for the Bus Rapid Transit project. Those funds will be coming to the city in the summer of 2013. HB 140 was an attempt to eliminate vehicle checkpoints. That was defeated.  HB 249 dealt with our Good Landlord program. There was an attempt to eliminate that altogether, but it did not happen. Another bill, dealing with fireworks, was passed that allows residents to use fireworks from July 1-7 and July 21-27 from 11 am -11 pm (until midnight on the 4th and 24th). Billboard legislation would've taken away rights as a council to decide what could be put in the city. A billboard could be converted to electronic without the city's permission, but it failed. Nicponski congratulated Taylorsville on bringing Wayne Harper into the Taylorsville family. He said having Rep. Harper will be a very good thing for the city. He ended by stating that he is still trying to get more BRT money.

Linda Hardman, representing the Taylorsville Exchange Club, spoke about the Pinwheel Gardens which will be on display April 7 at City Hall (see previous post for details).

Kevyn Smeltzer, from Public Works, gave his quarterly report. He said they inventory roads every three years to see what needs to be done. If we do preventative maintenance every 5-7 years, it helps extend the life of the road. By doing a chip seal or slurry seal, it helps get by. Doing an overlay helps get the roads back to 100 percent.

Pam Roberts, from Sanitation, gave her quarterly report. She said the weekly recycling collection wasn't as high as they had hoped. Overall they are hoping for a 30 percent recycling increase. Over 59 percent of Taylorsville residents said they want curbside green waste pick up. They had 35 percent that said they would be willing to pay for it (approximately $4.50 per month).

The city received an economic development grant from the Economic Development Corporation of Utah in the amount of $2,000. It is a 50/50 match grant and will be used to do some marketing videos to highlight the city for economic development. It was accepted unanimously by the council.

A resolution to approve an interlocal agreement with Jordan Valley Water district to exchange property located at 3200 W. 6200 S. and grant the district an easement for ingress and egress to its facilities, allow storm drain water draining, and construction of curb, gutter, and sidewalk and other improvements. It was approved by all council members.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Taylorsville’s Pinwheel Garden promotes Child Abuse Awareness

On Sat., Apr. 7 at 10 a.m., a Pinwheel Garden will be created at Taylorsville City Hall in honor of Child Abuse Prevention month. The Pinwheel Garden, made up of 192 pinwheels, will be on display to the public for the entire month of April. 
A brief ceremony by the Taylorsville Exchange Club and Prevent Child Abuse Utah will be held at 10, and then the public will be invited to participate by placing pinwheels in the triangular garden. 
According to Taylorsville Exchange Club board member, Renee Sorensen, “Pinwheels reflect the bright future all children deserve. The pinwheel is a positive emblem of the positive effect we can have when we work together to prevent child abuse.” 
Taylorsville City will also be flying a Blue Ribbon Flag for the month of April. The flag has the words, “Prevent Child Abuse,” as the blue ribbon has been a symbol of the prevention of child abuse. 
On Mar. 21 the Taylorsville City Council and Mayor passed a resolution proclaiming April as child abuse awareness month. “We are proud of the work that the Taylorsville Exchange Club does every year to bring out awareness,” said Mayor Russ Wall. “Child abuse affects people of all socio-economic levels and we need to watch for signs and look for ways to avoid it.”
This event will take place on the east lawn at Taylorsville City Hall - 2600 W. Taylorsville Blvd (5325 S.).