Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In Memoriam to D.L. "Bud" Catlin

Former Taylorsville City Council member Bud Catlin passed away on October 29, 2012. Bud faithfully served Taylorsville’s District 1 as a city council member for 14 years from January 1998 to December 2011. He is the longest-serving council member in Taylorsville history. 

Bud dedicated his life to public service on the Utah Highway Patrol - being promoted to the rank of captain, in the United States Army, and as a member of the city council. He approached his duties with passion, and always fought for the well-being of others.

Bud was involved in getting City Hall built and the Senior Center finished. He felt it was important to put streetlights in all the neighborhoods. He also helped secure the Taylorsville Rec Center and participated in building the skate park.

When Bud and Donna Catlin moved to Taylorsville in 1989, there were no sidewalks on the north side of the road by Fremont Elementary and he was concerned for the safety of the students. He was instrumental in getting a sidewalk put in, along with a fence, to provide safety for elementary school children.

One of Bud's friends and colleagues on the council, Larry Johnson, shared some of his memories: "Bud loved serving the people of Taylorsville. He taught me about a lot of things that I knew nothing about. He had a great sense of humor and had me laughing a lot. He always talked about his family - as they were all very special to him. Most of all, he had a deep and abiding love for his wife, Donna. We will all miss Bud. Thanks Bud for being my friend, you influenced my life for good."

"Bud was an outspoken advocate for his constituents and for the city," said Mayor Russ Wall. "I will miss him, as my friend."

This is a great loss to the City of Taylorsville. All of us who knew Bud will miss him. Our condolences go to his wife, Donna, and their family. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Rhetta McIff

Recent data from the Salt Lake Valley Health Department shows that many Taylorsville residents are being screened for Breast Cancer. However, Utah has a lower rate of mammogram screenings than the rest of the country. We can do better! October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and an excellent time for women and men to schedule a screening.

Fast Facts:
Not counting some kinds of skin cancer, breast cancer in the United States is—
  • The most common cancer in women, no matter your race or ethnicity.
  • The most common cause of death from cancer among Hispanic women.
  • The second most common cause of death from cancer among white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.
Can Men Get Breast Cancer?
Men can get breast cancer. In men, breast cancer can happen at any age, but is most likely in men who are between 60 and 70 years old. Male breast cancer is not very common. For every 100 cases of breast cancer, less than 1 is in men.

Recent updates to screening guidelines suggest: 
  • Routine screening of average-risk women should begin at age 50, instead of age 40.
  • Routine screening should end at age 74.
  • Women should get screening mammograms every two years instead of every year.
Contact your physician to schedule a screening. If you need assistance to find a screening location or would like to see if you qualify for a free mammogram voucher click here or call Salt Lake Valley Health Department at 385-468-3718. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Taylorsville Remembers Sacrifice of Veterans

The City of Taylorsville and United Veterans Council will host the 2012 Veterans Day Parade and Program on Sunday, November 11 in Taylorsville.

The parade begins at 11 a.m. at Valley Regional Park (5100 S. 2700 W.) and ends at Taylorsville City Hall (2600 W. 5325 S.). The co-grand marshals in the parade are Sergeant Major Patrick N. Watkins, who served three tours of duty in Vietnam, and Senior Master Sergeant Chuck Davis who served in both Korea and Vietnam.

Following the parade, at 12:15 p.m., there will be a program next to the newly- dedicated Taylorsville Veterans Memorial on the south side of Taylorsville City Hall. The keynote speaker is Major General Jefferson Burton.

In addition to the parade and program, a Field of Honor will be set up south of Taylorsville City Hall. This is a memorial to fallen soldiers in Utah who lost their lives in recent wars. A flag representing each fallen soldier and information on that soldier is part of the memorial.

Inside city hall the largest World War II collection in Utah will be on display. Chip Henneman, owner of the collection, first became interested in WWII memorabilia at the age of 5. For more than 30 years he has collected items from all branches of service.

“We are honored to once again be chosen to host the Veterans Day Parade,” said Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall. “We appreciate veterans and their families and their many sacrifices for our freedoms.” 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Eagle Project - Emergency Cache

We have highlighted several Eagle projects on this blog in the past and want to highlight another one.

Tyler Newton recently completed his Eagle project by fixing up and doing inventory on the Bennion Elementary Emergency Cache. 

The city has several emergency caches around the city. They are stocked with materials to aid the community in case of a disaster. 

Several dozen youth and adults helped inventory items in all the containers.

Thanks to a generous donation by Home Depot, all the building and painting materials were donated. New shelves were built inside.

The doors were fixed and the outside of the shed was repainted.

The shed is now organized with all items inventoried and easily seen on the shelves.

We have other emergency caches like these around the city that would be a great Eagle project, or other beautification projects that need help. If you are interested in doing an Eagle Project with Taylorsville City, please contact John Inch Morgan or Lisa Schwartz at 801-963-5400.

Great job, Tyler and crew!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

City Council Meeting 10/17/12

At the city council meeting a firefighter representing a group of Taylorsville firefighters spoke about the Fire District issue. He said that the firefighters aren't getting a raise by joining the Fire District, but are looking for better staffing to decrease the amount of calls that are imported by other stations and to make it safer for them by increasing the number of crew members.

Joan White, chair of the Historic Preservation committee, gave a report. She spoke about the many activities that have taken place at the museum. Several community groups have used the facilities for their events and families come to tour the museum after one of their kids have had a field trip at the museum.

Pam Roberts from Sanitation gave her quarterly report. The Sanitation District will be breaking off from Salt Lake County on January 1 and will become the Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District. Roberts said that last year Sanitation had a 97 percent satisfaction rating and is hoping for something even higher this year. She said Taylorsville has the highest tonnage of recyclable materials in the Sanitation District. She reminded residents to make sure cans are put at least three feet away from any other cans or objects.

The council unanimously approved some Land Development Code changes. The first one was to amend the ordinance to not allow temporary businesses to locate on landscaped areas. This is to prevent the landscaping from being affected, but also to allow ADA accessibility.

The second ordinance change amended the number of tobacco specialty shops allowed in the city to one for every 10,000 residents. That would mean five shops would currently be allowed.

The third ordinance change was to better define Reiki massage in the ordinance. The city placed a six month moratorium on this type of business because of concerns raised by the Salt Lake County Health Department and our police department. Some of these businesses were not meeting the definition of true "Reiki" massages and were engaging in business practices that were outside the law.

The final ordinance change was to better define reception centers. A potential loop hole exists in State Code for the licensing of reception cneters. The issue at hand is the sale of alcohol in such a center. The problem is that a business may be licensed as a reception center, but function as a tavern. To close the potential loop holes, staff recommended adopting an ordinance that contains very specific language for uses associated with reception centers.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Taylorsville Updates 10 Year Strategic Plan

Taylorsville elected officials and staff are beginning their revision of the Strategic Plan. On November 10, they will meet with the public and assess needs to prioritize goals for 2013.

“This is an annual event when we update our 10 year plan,” said Community Development Director Mark McGrath. “We discuss the vision for the city and nail down specific goals.”
McGrath said those in attendance will have a voice to determine future projects and the direction of the city. 

Although funds were tight this year, McGrath highlighted some of the accomplishments from 2012 during the city council work session Wednesday night. Those included improving communication with residents and businesses, improving weed abatement, building a community garden east of City Hall, studying the destabilization of neighborhoods and how to improve them, dedicating the Veterans Memorial, increasing public safety resources by joining Unified Police Department, encouraging volunteerism, completing the rebuild of 1300 West, and focusing on six commercial areas for economic development.

The Strategic Plan document aids elected officials when they make budgetary decisions. According to City Council Chair Jerry Rechtenbach, the document plays an especially important role come May and June when the city budget is discussed. “We (the city council) do not fund items unless they meet specific goals in our city’s Strategic Plan,” said Rechtenbach.

The public is welcome to attend the meeting, which begins at 8 a.m. and is expected to end around noon. The meeting will be held in the Taylorsville City Council Chambers - 2600 W. Taylorsville Blvd. Those wishing to attend are requested to RSVP to anewton@taylorsvilleut.gov. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

City Council Work Session 10/10/12

Healthy Taylorsville Committee Report
Healthy Taylorsville Committee Chair Brett McIff reported that the committee will be doing a screening of, "The Weight of the Nation," on Oct. 25 which helps to examine obesity and review choices. He also said the committee will be helping with the Taylorsville Iditarod again in March. The committee meets monthly and anyone interested in trying to help us have a healthier city is welcome to join.

Capital Improvements Project Update
City Engineer John Taylor reported on some projects throughout the city. On 1300 West there was an overlay project between 6235-6600 South completed this month. Labrum Park (the large regional ball park that the city inherited from Salt Lake County/LDS Church on the South Jordan Canal Road) is being graded to allow access for residents off Redwood Road/6020 South to the canal road. In this last budget, council members approved funding for a block wall along 4100 South to provide safety for drivers and adjacent residents. The project is well underway and residents are grateful for this safety measure that has been implemented. Flex Lanes will most likely begin at the end of the month/beginning of November. More information will be forthcoming as UDOT provides it. The 5400 South Thru-Turn lane project at 4015 West will most likely begin operation at the beginning of November. 

Land Development Code Amendments
Community Development Director Mark McGrath discussed proposed text amendments to the Taylorsville Land Development Code. He spoke about the Reiki massage permit. In the code this will be defined and will become a conditional use permit. Licensees will need to appear before the planning commission. Another matter deals with temporary businesses. No temporary business will be allowed on landscaped surfaces to keep landscaping from being destroyed and to provide ADA accessibility. The city is concerned about potential taverns or clubs  coming in for reception center permits so alcohol can be served. A better definition for reception centers will be included in the code. Specialty tobacco shops will be limited to one for every 10,000 residents, similar to the limits on check cashing stores. The code will also better define what a tobacco business is.

Strategic Plan Review
McGrath also gave a Strategic Plan update and highlighted the things we have accomplished this year. The Strategic Plan will be discussed at a special meeting on Sat., Nov. 10 from 8 a.m.- noon. City staff, elected officials, volunteers, business owners, and residents are invited to attend to help prioritize needs and projects for the upcoming year.

Fire District Info
Resident Jon Fidler asked to have two minutes to give a report on the protest of the Fire District annexation. He said that they have collected approximately 2,600 and will be turning in their petition to the Salt Lake Valley Fire District. 

Once the signatures are validated, which will take 30-45 days, then the city can hold a special election in June for residents to vote on whether or not to join the Fire District. The cost of the special election will be at least $50,000. In the meantime, the city council will need to open up the budget and figure out how to pay for the rest of the UFA contract of $1.9 million. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Firefighter and Police Officer of the Year

The Taylorsville Exchange Club gave out Firefighter and Police Officer of the Year awards at their monthly meeting on Oct. 10, 2012. 

Paramedic Nate Bogenschutz from Unified Fire Authority and Detective Troy Martinez from Unified Police Department were honored. Both serve the Taylorsville area.

Paramedic Nate Bogenschutz accepts award presented by UFA Battalion Chief and
Taylorsville Exchange Club President Jay Ziolkowski.

Since his hire date on October of 2003, Nate Bogenschutz has contributed much to the organization as both a firefighter and paramedic. For over six years he has worked within the City of Taylorsville and rendered aid to countless patients.

Bogenschutz has served as one of Unified Fire Authority’s search and rescue dog handlers for eight years. He has written policy on the deployment of canines, and protocols for sedation and decontamination should they be exposed to a hostile environment. Additionally, he is one of only 75 evaluators in the nation certified to evaluate other canine handlers for the Urban Search and Rescue groups throughout the country.

Bogenschutz also serves as one of UFA’s battalion medical trainers, preceptor to new paramedics, bike medic during community events such as Taylorsville Dayzz, and host to our local leaders during Fire School 101.

Detective Troy Martinez accepts award with UPD Sheriff Jim Winder and
Taylorsville Exchange Club President Jay Ziolkowski

Troy Martinez has worked in Law Enforcement for over 17 years.  During that time, Troy has worked patrol, property crimes, person crimes, and as a public information officer. He is also a training instructor in several areas.

Martinez currently works for the Special Victims Unit of Unified Police Department. He investigates child sex crimes, crimes against children and child abuse cases. These types of cases are extremely difficult and require a lot of interviews with children, family members, suspects and parents.

Employees at the Children’s Justice Center comment often on his demeanor and willingness to work each case to a successful end. The Department of Children and Family Services has a great working relationship with Martinez and have also commented on his dedication and his ability to investigate these types of cases.

Martinez is always positive and upbeat while at work. He has great morale and a positive outlook while maintaining a very large case load. He is always willing to step up and assist any officer who has questions regarding these emotionally difficult cases.

Congratulations to these two professionals who serve our Taylorsville community!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Taylorsville Partners with SCORE to Help Local Businesses

Taylorsville City and SCORE have partnered to help Taylorsville businesses who may be struggling or are trying to grow. So far the partnership has assisted a half dozen businesses in Taylorsville with things like marketing, finances, legal advice, business plans, and viability studies, all at no cost to the business owners or Taylorsville taxpayers.

“This partnership has been mutually beneficial to these businesses and to Taylorsville,” said Mayor Russ Wall. “We care about our businesses and want them to succeed.”

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to encouraging the formation, growth, and success of small business through counseling and mentor programs. They are funded by the Small Business Administration and have over 30 mentors in the Salt Lake area.

According to SCORE mentor Ron Baron, Taylorsville is the first city for SCORE to partner with in this outreach program. Baron said that the SCORE mentors are former presidents of companies and executives who feel it’s important to give back to the business community. “Because we’ve had so much interest, we have set aside one day per week to take appointments at Taylorsville City Hall,” Baron said. “We’ve seen businesses making progress and that is exciting for us.”

One of those businesses is Anchor Water Damage and Restorations, owned by Taylorsville residents Kris and Frank Rudarmel. The Rudarmels are looking to expand their location to continue growing their business. “These mentors have given us ideas and helped us think outside the box,” Kris Rudarmel said. “We are getting help to market in a sea of competitors.”

Wayne Harper from Taylorsville’s Economic Development department has helped find businesses who can benefit from mentoring. “Part of the mission of the city is not only to recruit new businesses, but to help existing businesses grow,” said Harper. “SCORE is doing a fantastic job of meeting and providing expertise that the city doesn’t have. Our city has a lean budget, so this was a creative way to help our Taylorsville businesses without using scarce city tax dollars.” 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

City Council summary 10/3/2012

The hot topic at the City Council meeting was the Fire District.

Battalion Fire Chief Jay Ziolkowski was asked to present additional information to help council members in their decision on whether or not to continue the Fire District annexation.

Ziolkowski said the data that Chief Jensen shared last month showed trends over several years, but he wanted to share a "balance sheet, or snapshot in time" to show some of the information. The total call volume in Taylorsville last fiscal year (July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012) was approximately 3,950 incidents. Of those, 783 were covered by units outside of Taylorsville, while the units from Stations 117 and 118 went outside the City only 441 times. 

He also discussed response times. Surprisingly, the response times within Taylorsville are below average and fair better than most every station inside of UFA. Note, however, that response times from outside agencies coming into Taylorsville (Murray, West Jordan and West Valley) are not included in this assessment and would obviously be longer on average. 

Many people have also asked the cost of building a fire station. Ziolkowski said that the average cost to build a District station is about $3.5 million, including the property.  This is below national averages, and each station is built as a 100 year building.  Modification to current design (single floor layout, smaller bays) could reduce the cost, but may impact current and future service delivery capabilities.

Councilmember Rechtenbach stated that Station 117 needs to be rebuilt. He wondered if when we rebuild Station 117, we could move it further south down Redwood Road and avoid needing to build a third station. He said some of his constituents have stated they don’t want to take away control. "One of the purposes of looking into the District is for alternative funding. If we decide the district is not the way to go and we pull back our application for annexation, we need to open the budget to fund the $1.9 million shortfall for our UFA contract. Some think if we don’t join the District there would not be additional taxes needed, but that is not true," said Rechtenbach. 

Councilmember Overson said she appreciated UFA and all they do for the city. She also appreciates input from her constituents in District 2. She thinks Taylorsville has been well-served by UFA and will continue to be well-served. After reviewing the info and hearing feedback, she said she hears from her constituents that they understand they need to pay for services but don’t want to give up taxing control. "I am accountable to my district and they have clearly let me know. I want to withdraw my interest in the Fire District, but understand there will still be a tax increase next year to properly fund fire service,” said Overson. 

Councilmember Barbour says her area is about split. “I want to go on record to say never would I be offended that my neighbors have signed a petition,” she said. "I go back to my original question - do we pay as we go, or do we bond? We know what our city needs are. We know we have a shortfall in this budget. If the residents say “let’s bond” and take care of these things ourselves, then I will bond and next year have to have that payment in the budget. I am still very concerned about our economic development - we all are.”

Councilmember Johnson said he has talked to his constituents and feels they are not supportive of the Fire District. He continues to be opposed to joining. Rechtenbach said he is fine to hear that council members are opposed, but stated that council members cannot just say "No" to every tax increase, but then not come up with any solutions.

Councilmember Burgess said other cities have invested in economic development and have funds for some of these things. "I have tried to explain this to my constituents and they are not in favor of this," he said. "When the day is over, I want to make sure our people are taken care of. When it’s your grandpa or child and they need help and it doesn’t come because of the decisions we made here, we’ve got to look at that. My whole thing is making sure I do what my constituents want. I want to understand where they are coming from and take care of their needs." 

The point was made that Murray has two-thirds the residents of Taylorsville and has almost double the fire staff. Ziolkowski said they brought up the idea of joining the Fire District so it is a perpetual funding source. Then they are not fighting with parks and rec or other departments for proper funding each year.

For the next blog post, I will be outlining what the residents are saying and what concerns are about this issue.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Frequently Asked City Questions:

Here are some answers to some of the most frequently asked city questions in the past week:

1. Q: How can I dispose of all my fall leaves?

A: Currently at the upstairs receptionist desk at City Hall you can come pick up some leaf bags. Between Oct. 15-Nov. 30 you can drop your bags of leaves off at Valley Regional Park. Please only use these dumpsters for leaves. If you have other items you need to take to the landfill, you can get two landfill passes per household from the receptionist at City Hall anytime this month.

2. Q: If we are going to contract for our public safety services, why did we become a city in the first place?

A: When we incorporated in 1996 to become a city, it was the intent of elected officials to contract as much as possible. Contracting saves money, so even when we became a city we contracted for police, fire, legal, engineering, sanitation, public works, etc. Current elected officials still have that same mindset and look to save money wherever possible. The main reason residents wanted to incorporate was to have a say in Planning and Zoning matters, Economic Development, and funding for parks or other community centers (Rec Center, Senior Center, etc.). Although we haven't had extra funding for some of these things since the recession, city officials still operate on the same premise that having local control of community development is vital in making a livable community.

3. Q: When funds are tight, why don't elected officials cut things out of the budget instead of raising taxes?

A: Elected officials are responsible to all residents and business owners in Taylorsville. When inflation increases and revenues decline, elected officials can either raise revenue through increased taxes, hope for additional business sales tax revenue, or they can cut services. So far most residents have insisted that services remain the same, which leads elected officials to cut where they can and raise revenue to cover the rest.

4. Q: Did the city spend $6 million on a project on 6200 South?

A: No, the city council did not approve this. Engineers recommended the city look at re-routing the road by Westbrook Elementary and put in a sky bridge to aid the elementary school children in safely crossing 6200 South. The council said there were not sufficient funds in the budget for it as this time and did not fund it.

5. Q: Why is there $30,000 in the city budget this year for Jones Dairy restrooms?

A: The Jones Dairy and museum property is designated as a park and is used for events on the lawn, for school tours, for the community gardens and for Granite School District agriculture classes. The rest rooms will be built to ADA and park  standards and will be used by patrons visiting the grounds and accessible to those using the dairy building from the inside when the building has been remodeled as per building code standards. These restrooms need to be accessible from the outside, so two exterior entrances will be built for a men and women's restroom with two stalls each. These restrooms must be ADA compliant and commercial grade. Once this project is bid out, the price may come in lower than was budgeted.

6. Q: When will Flex Lanes on 5400 South start? Are they safe?

A: UDOT has told us that Flex Lanes will be ready around the end of October. Our police officers plan to help with the transition to keep everyone safe. For more information on Flex Lanes you can visit udot.utah.gov/flexlanes.

If you have a question that you would like answered in our next FAQ post, please email anewton@taylorsvilleut.gov.