Friday, December 20, 2013

Aimee's Final Farewell

Aimee Winder Newton
It is with a bit of sadness that I write my last post on Taylorsville Tidbits. This blog was started in the spring of 2011 when I was frustrated with some decisions made by the then-current elected officials. I used it as a forum to get information out to the public, so that Taylorsville residents would know what was happening in their city.

At the time I didn't realize that four months later I would be working as the city's Communications Director. When that happened, this blog was starting to gain traction and I had to delete my previous (and somewhat snarky) posts.

As a city administration we made the decision to continue with Taylorsville Tidbits as a way to inform the public about current issues facing the city. We link our posts on the city's Facebook and Twitter accounts. It has made for a good little history book of the things going on in the city.

Two months ago I made the decision to run for Salt Lake County Council, and knew it would be problematic to continue serving as the spokesperson for the city. Today is my last day as the Taylorsville City Communications Director. I am hopeful that our new mayor will replace this position over the next month or so, but in the meantime we have a great intern from the U, Ariel Maikowski, who may continue to blog from time to time.

I've now worked for the city for almost 2 1/2 years and it has been an amazing ride. I've worked for two tremendous mayors, as well as council members who care more about this city than you can imagine. We've grown our social media, enhanced media relationships, received more positive news coverage of the city than ever before, rebranded the city with a new logo, and have provided information to the residents of Taylorsville in various formats - city newsletter in the Taylorsville Kearns Journal, e-newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Channel 17, and mailers explaining complicated issues, like the budget.

I've been involved with the city for over 17 years and will miss the daily association with wonderful volunteers, dedicated elected officials, and amazing staff, who have become my good friends.

Taylorsville is a wonderful place to live. I've lived here since I was six years old and my husband and I are raising our four children here. We love the schools, the people, and the city. I am confident that in coming years we will see a revitalized Taylorsville with a stronger business base, as I know our staff is working very hard to see that come to fruition. I am grateful for the stellar customer service that we get from the city and our service providers. I think we would be shocked to learn that not every city operates as well, and it's something I sometimes take for granted.

My parting words to Taylorsville Tidbits readers is this... find a way to make your community better. We have a myriad of city committees, we have service projects needed citywide, and we need good people willing to run for office. Find a way to give back to your community. I promise you won't regret it!

Signing off.

- Aimee Winder Newton

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

City Council 12/18/13

The City Council meeting began with a citizen comment by Dean Paynter from the Bennion Heights neighborhood. He expressed thanks to the elected officials for some beautification that was done at the entrance to their neighborhood and presented the Mayor with a card from the neighbors.

Councilmember-elect Dan Armstrong spoke in opposition to the proposed ordinance regarding a ban on overnight parking on the street.

Mayor Rechtenbach gave his final Mayor's Report:

"In a few short weeks my year serving as Mayor of Taylorsville will come to a close. It has been an honor to serve as your Mayor and I have enjoyed the time, and the associations that I have made during my service. As I reflect back on the year 2013, as most of us do this time of year, I thought I would highlight a few of the accomplishments during the year.

·      Traffic and Transportation: We lobbied for and obtained $4.2 million from the state legislature that will fund several important transportation projects, and we worked hard to improve our relationship with UDOT to accomplish some important objectives for the City, these include:
o   Prairie View/Gold Medal Drive safety improvements;
o   Pedestrian bridge over 6200 South to Westbrook Elementary
o   East-West pedestrian trail development that will connect Valley Regional Parks with the Taylorsville-Bennion Heritage Museum on 4800 South;
o   Successfully negotiated with UDOT to allow construction of an entrance to Walmart from 5400 South, which has been key to attracting new business to the location.

·      Community Outreach and Neighborhood Revitalization:  created programs focused on better communication with residents, and enhancements of our neighborhoods. These include:
o   Organized 10 Community Councils;
o   Implemented neighborhood cleanup programs;
o   Reinvented the Code Enforcement program to be more community friendly, and to focus on chronic problem areas;
o   Reconstructed two neighborhood parks.

·      Economic Development: It has always been clear to me that economic development is the life-blood and the future of Taylorsville. As we are successful in bringing fresh new business to Taylorsville, we stabilize our revenue base, and create an inviting community for business and resident alike. Some of the economic development initiatives we have focused on during 2013 include:
o   Opening of the new Markosian Auto Center on Redwood Road;
o   Successfully negotiated a joint venture between the city, local developer, and an anchor tenant to redevelop the shopping center known as Plaza 5400 (Furniture Warehouse site on 5400 South and Redwood Road).
o   Negotiated with a new major entertainment anchor to go into Plaza 5400, which has also created much interest in new restaurants there. The city hopes to name the entertainment user early next year;
o   Developed relationships with Salt Lake County Government that resulted in a recent announcement by Mayor Ben McAdams of a partnership undertaking to reinvent, and even transform the Family Center into a vibrant and progressive center;
o   Negotiated with a major developer to purchase the property adjacent to American Express, where they will begin constructing new commercial buildings in the coming year;
o   Negotiated the purchase of a 2.5 acre section of City Center property for commercial development;
o   We are still a front runner to be awarded the site for Salt Lake County’s new Regional Performing Arts Center.

·      General Accomplishments:  In 2013, we received the overwhelming approval of the residents of Taylorsville to proceed with an initiative that I introduced in 2012 as a City Council Member; to join the Unified Fire Service Area (UFSA). The effects of this action include:
o   The City will receive enhanced fire and emergency medical service immediately as the Unified Fire Authority will increase the number of personnel serving the City;
o   The UFSA has already begun negotiating to buy a piece of property to build the replacement for Fire Station 117 that currently is located on Redwood Road across from the Salt Lake Community College;
o   The UFSA, as soon as the property has been acquired, will commence construction of the new fire station
o   This new fire station will house more fire and emergency medical personnel, and will have all the most current and modern apparatus and equipment, thus enhancing the safety of Taylorsville residents;
o   Due to economies of scale and other effects, this change in the fire service will cost less in the long run, than it would if the change were not made.

So, as I complete my term as Mayor of Taylorsville, I am comfortable in saying that I am leaving the City better than it was when I found it. If the initiatives and programs we have begun are continued, I firmly believe that the result will be a better Taylorsville, and a place that we all can be proud to call our home."

After the Mayor's remarks, City Administrator John Inch Morgan presented him with a plaque thanking him for his many years of service to the city.

Lee Stevens was appointed to be the chair of the Ordinance Review Committee. Don Quigley was appointed to the Planning Commission.

UFA Battalion Chief Jay Ziolkowski gave his quarterly report from Unified Fire Authority. The most exciting fire news is the building of a new fire station around 5000 S. Redwood Road. UFA is hopeful the ground breaking will be in the spring. This new beautiful building will be a great asset in a blighted area. Hopefully it will help spur some beautification and economic development in that area.

A proposed amendment to the zoning map passed, which changed property at 6020 S. Jordan Canal Road from R-1-20 to R-1-15. 

A reallocation of CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funds were approved to expand the Taylorsville Senior Center ($63K) and for Tri-Park Services ($3K), the entity that runs the Taylorsville Food Pantry.

The council approved a resolution and interlocal agreement between the Salt Lake County Surveyor's Office and the City to purchase LiDAR data in the amount of $2,401. They also approved an interlocal agreement with West Jordan for temporary Justice Court services.

The council discussed a proposed ordinance change to ban overnight on-street parking from November to March. It is problematic for the city to enforce the current ordinance which says there is no parking in anticipation of a snow storm. (People can argue that they didn't know a storm was anticipated and the city can't track when they parked there.) The police chief spoke about the problems in enforcing the current ordinance. If the ordinance bans all overnight on-street parking, then our police officers can better enforce it and it saves money on snow plowing because the plows can get through on the first try. The council asked the Ordinance Review Committee to rewrite this ordinance, taking into account all the comments that were made. The council will then review it at a meeting in January.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A New Look for Taylorsville Gateways

The City Council and Planning Commission met with Community Development Director Mark McGrath, to discuss an item of the Taylorsville’s 10-Year Strategic Plan. This item is the Design Consistency Manual and will be a new element of the General Plan. The Design Consistency Manual was given $15,000 of funding in the 2013-2014 city budget. The proposed item is to develop a design consistency manual for all gateways, parks, trails, streetscapes, signage, and to create a “branding” strategy.  This strategy will address:
  • General Design Guidelines        
  • Landscape       
  • Maintenance       
  • Fencing        
  • Lighting       
  • Materials
  • Specific Sites       
  • City Buildings
  • Street Furnishings
Here are some of our existing “Gateways”:

This map shows where we are proposing to have the Gateways (blue stars) and where the existing Gateways (the red stars) are: 

How do you think the Taylorsville “Gateways” should look?  What kind of image does Taylorsville want to portray?

Do we want signage? Landscaping? Maintenance? 

Here are a few examples of other City Gateways.

Email Mark McGrath at to tell us what you think!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

City Council 12/11/13 - Morgan Resigns

Taylorsville City Administrator John Inch Morgan
Taylorsville City Administrator John Inch Morgan announced at the 12/11/13 City Council meeting that he will be resigning in January. Morgan will be taking a job with VECC (Valley Emergency Communications Center) as the new executive director beginning January 13, 2014. He has been the Taylorsville City Administrator for 17 years.

"This is a great loss to the city," said Council Chair Dama Barbour. "John has been such an asset to the elected officials, staff, and residents of Taylorsville for the past 17 years."

Other items of interest in the council meeting included a discussion of the city's Design Consistency Manual. Planning Commissioners and City Council members had a discussion on this item from the 10-year Strategic Plan. The Design Consistency Manual, which will be a new element of the General Plan, was given $15,000 of funding in the 2013-2014 city budget. The proposed Design Consistency Manual is described as follows:
Develop a design consistency manual for all gateways, parks, trails, streetscapes, signage, etc. The design manual would create a design "branding" strategy and should address:

  • General design guidelines
  • Landscape
  • Maintenance
  • Fencing
  • Lighting
  • Materials
  • Specific Sites
  • City Buildings
  • Street Furnishings

The council briefly discussed a proposed ordinance change to ban overnight on-street parking from November to March. It is problematic for the city to enforce the current ordinance which says there is no parking in anticipation of a snow storm. (People can argue that they didn't know a storm was anticipated and the city can't track when they parked there.) If the ordinance bans all overnight on-street parking, then our police officers can better enforce it and it saves money on snow plowing because the plows can get through on the first try. If this ordinance passes, the city will make sure information is communicated to city residents so they understand the new ordinance.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

City Council Summary 12/4/13

Tonight Police Chief Tracy Wyant gave his quarterly report. Here are some of the statistics he shared:

The council voted unanimously to amend the Taylorsville Land Development Code adding wireless telecommunication facilities to the open space land use matrix.

An amendment to the Salt Lake Valley Communications Center (VECC) interlocal agreement passed unanimously by the council.

Tri-Park Services Project, the group that runs the Taylorsville Food Pantry, is requesting special funding through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The request was approved unanimously by the council.

Let It Snow??

City of Taylorsville Snow Removal Policy and Procedure

The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures for the removal of snow and ice on streets and sidewalks within the City.  The City contracts with Salt Lake County Public Works Department for roadway snow removal and road maintenance services.

The objective of these policies and procedures is to provide direction for timely and efficient removal of snow and ice from City streets and sidewalks in the City of Taylorsville.  

The City contracts for a limited number of public works resources, which requires the assignment of priorities to streets for snow removal. The first priority is given to streets that carry the largest traffic volume and those that have been identified as presenting a heightened danger given snowy and icy conditions. Collector streets with lower traffic volumes have been identified as the next priority, with neighborhood streets and then cul-de-sac streets following in priority once the higher priority streets have been cleared and are deemed safe for travel.  Motorists may experience snow-packed or icy conditions on lower priority streets during snowstorms. Plowing City streets will continue until all streets have been cleared over the succeeding days following a storm.

The City maintains more than 150 lane miles of arterial, secondary and residential streets that have been divided into five (5) priorities:

A. First Priority: All major arterial streets that must be kept open to provide a transportation network connecting hospitals, fire stations, police stations, and emergency medical services.
B. Second Priority: Minor arterial streets and those streets serving public schools, and locations considered to be extraordinarily dangerous when snow covered or icy such as steep hills.
C. Third Priority: Collector streets and those additional streets serving public transportation.
D. Fourth Priority: All remaining streets such as residential and local streets.
E. Fifth Priority: Cul de Sacs.
Responsibility of the City
The responsibility for implementing the snow removal policy lies with the City Administrator and the Director of Community Services. The City’s priorities have been provided to the Public Works Director who will call out snowplow crews to plow or salt when warranted and authorize the use of additional resources or overtime as conditions warrant.

Equipment Resources:
The City deploys 9 drivers to address winter road conditions. 

During snow events residents are encouraged to check the priority maps then call the City of Taylorsville (801) 963-5400 if they feel their street has been overlooked or they have an issue with snowplowing on their street.

Snowplow operators have been trained to follow the priorities set in the policies and procedure section; it would be detrimental to respond to individual complaints before operators have responded in accordance with the Snow Removal Policy.

Complaints will be logged and given to supervisors for review and action.
Claims from residents for property damage caused by snowplows should be reported to Public Works at City of Taylorsville at 801-963-5400 or email

Within the City of Taylorsville borders, the Utah Department of Transportation has the obligation to maintain and plow state owned roads including Redwood Road, 5400 South, 4700 South east of 2700 West, and Bangerter Highway.

Citizen Responsibilities
Residents are responsible to maintain their sidewalks adjacent to their property. Please pile the snow on your yard not in the street. This is required by ordinance. A helpful hint for residents on snow routes--clear your sidewalk after the snow plows have finished plowing your street.
Emergency Snow Conditions
Snow removal equipment is harder to stop than a regular vehicle and is less maneuverable.
Equipment operators may work 12 hours or more in a shift and appreciate courteous and friendly drivers and pedestrians. Please help them help you.

City Ordinances regarding Snow Removal

Parking on the Street:
City of Taylorsville Code:

It is unlawful for any person who owns or has possession, custody or control of any vehicle to park any vehicle on any street or highway: 

A.     After a snow accumulation of four inches (4”) or more, until 24 hours after the end of such accumulation; or

B.     For a period longer than twenty four (24) hours; or

C.     For any period longer than the allowed by appropriate signs, markings or parking meters giving notice of such parking time limitation. (Ord. 06-30, 9-6-2006)

Sidewalk Maintenance: 
City of Taylorsville Code:

It is unlawful for the owner, occupant, lessor or agent of property abutting on a paved sidewalk to fail to remove or cause to be removed from such paved sidewalk and any existing curb ramp all hail, snow or sleet falling thereon, within twenty four (24) hours after the hail, snow or sleet has ceased falling. (Ord. 04-07, 2-4-2004).

It is unlawful for any person removing snow, ice or other material from a sidewalk or driveway to place or deposit said snow, ice or other material upon any city road or highway in such a manner as to interfere with the proper use of the same or so as to obstruct travel or to endanger property or persons upon the same. (Ord. 96-17, 6-19-1996)

Common Questions About Snow Control
Can the City remove the snow they put in my driveway and sidewalk? 
Some snow will come off the blade onto driveways. When you consider the large number of driveways and amount of sidewalks in the County it is too costly and time consuming to use additional people and equipment to perform this service. Our primary duty is to open and keep open the main roadway system.
Can I park my car on the street? 
The City Council has been asked to consider changing our ordinances to make it illegal to leave a car parked in the street November 15 through March 31. This topic will be discussed at the November 6, 2013 City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. Your input will be greatly appreciated. Having to swerve a snowplow in and out between parked vehicles is not only dangerous, but also nerve wracking for our drivers. We also cannot do an efficient job with parked vehicles on the street. Also your car could be plowed in with a snow bank.
How long until my streets are plowed? 
We make every effort to accomplish the following:
Main Streets plowed within 8 hours after the storm ends.                     
Residential Streets plowed within 48 hours after the storm ends.                        
Cul-de-sacs plowed within 48 hours after the storm ends.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Community Council Election Season is Here!

 By Ariel Maikowski

Community Council 1B meeting 

It’s the last month of 2013, which means it is time for Community Council elections.

According to our City Ordinance the Community Councils are in place to inform communities about city policies and services, engage the public in city decisions, promote a sense of community, and encourage and cultivate community participation and communication.  Community Councils provide a way for the community to have a voice at City Hall, and in return to have City Hall communicate to the community at large.  This includes residents, businesses, schools, and churches. 

The best way to find your own Community Council is to click here.

The current Community Council members are:

1B:      Chair Jason Wyatt
Vice-Chair Daren Sandstrom
            Secretary Michelle Grossman

2A:      Chair Jolene Dearden

2B:      Chair Jerry Milne
Vice-Chair Kim Passey
            Secretary Connie Watkins

3A:      Chair Dean Paynter
            Vice-Chair Karen Christofferen
            Secretary Judy Bunkall

3B:      Vice-Chair Leonard Michaelsen

4B:      Chair Cathy Jeffs
            Vice-Chair Joyce Jackson
            Secretary Kristine Carson

5A:      Chair Doug Arnesen
            Vice-Chair Kory Cox
            Secretary RaAnn Foote

5B:      Chair Alan Kirkwood
            Vice-Chair Flo Graham
            Secretary Karen Kirkwood

All community councils will hold elections for Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary, so these names may change. We are also still looking for 1A and 4A nominations. These elections will take place at your specific Community Council meeting:

  • 1B is meeting on December 12th at the YMCA Community Family Center (4223 S. Atherton Dr., corner of Fremont Elementary School) at 7 p.m.
  • 2A is meeting on December 2nd at City Hall Rm. 202 at 7 p.m.
  • 2B is meeting on December 26th at the Majestic Oaks Clubhouse (4635 S. 840 W.) at 7 p.m.
  • 3A is meeting on December 5th at Ivory Highlands Clubhouse (2900 W. 6500 S.) at 7 p.m.
  • 5A is meeting on December 26th at City Hall at 7 p.m.
If you are ready to have your voice be heard and want to participate with your City in problem-solving and other engagements, send your nomination to Rhetta McIff at