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.

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