Monday, April 29, 2013

Park Fire, Sinkhole, and Service Projects

What an interesting weekend in Taylorsville! This past weekend we had hundreds of volunteers come out to help with our citywide service project. We also had a few emergencies - someone set a fire at Bennion Park, and we had a sinkhole at 5400 S. 3200 W. Here is a recap of each of these events:

Comcast Cares Day, the city's largest service project ever, had over 600 people help with more than a half dozen projects throughout the city. 

The event began with registration and breakfast and a few words from Mayor Rechtenbach:
Councilmember Brad Christopherson (Dist 3), Mayor Jerry Rechtenbach, Councilmembers Kristie Overson (Dist 2), Dama Barbour (Dist 4), Ernest Burgess (Dist 1), and Senator Wayne Harper kick off Comcast Cares Day in Taylorsville.
 Volunteers went to their assigned project. At City Hall some kids painted birdhouses to hang at the Jordan River:


We had over 100 volunteers at the City Hall Community Gardens. They moved a lot of mulch!


The Taylorsville High School football team came and helped...



Along with Girl Scout Troop 2532 and many other residents...


Here's a handsome volunteer with a tan hat on (my husband, Matt). These guys spent the morning building garden boxes for our community gardens.


Over at Millrace Park we saw the Taylorsville High School girls softball team...


The Freedom Shrine park at 4500 S. 600 W. looked fabulous, as did the Jordan River Parkway. We saw employees from American Express here helping. 


The tunnel at 4500 South and the Jordan River Parkway got some color. Volunteers had fun painting...




I couldn't help but show my Tville pride!!


We sure appreciate the hundreds of volunteers who came out to take part in making the city a more beautiful place. Comcast will be donating money to the city for each volunteer who participated. Thanks to Comcast for all they did to make this day a great one!


SINKHOLE

The Eye of Sauron? A burning ring of fire?? Or is this just a boring old sinkhole?


Well it was anything but boring. The sinkhole was about 4 ft wide and the hole underneath ran approximately 20 ft deep. This happened around 4:50 p.m. on Friday, April 26. A car bottomed out while driving through the intersection at 3200 West 5400 South and alerted UDOT to the problem. 

After waiting for the utility companies to come blue stake their utility lines, UDOT immediately began working on it.



They found that an old pipe had corroded which caused the roadway to be washed away.


UDOT worked all night installing a new pipe and fixing the road. By Monday morning they had everything all finished and the road was read for the morning commute.


These photos are courtesy of Spencer Braithwaite, who witnessed the fire at Bennion Park, located approximately 3200 West 5600 South. (Ironically right down the street from the sinkhole.)


Fire investigators are still looking into this and anyone with info on who was responsible is asked to call police at 801-743-7000. They believe someone set fire by the playground equipment and used some sort of accelerant. Damages are estimated to be $12,000. City officials say the equipment will be replaced and will be looking for input from the children in the community on what kind of playground they would like to see.





Like I said... lots of excitement in Taylorsville this past weekend!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Budget Discussion Continues

Tonight the city council and the administration continued their discussion of budget priorities. Although sales tax revenue is improving, we still have not caught up to the amount of revenue we had in 2006. Because of this, the administration and council will not be able to fund some of the niceties that some residents have asked for, like an indoor swimming pool or splash pad. Even without those kinds of things, there will surely be a tax increase - larger than last year.

It sounds like most of the council feels strongly that the city can no longer defer the improvements we have needed for many years. Although tax increases have been proposed for the past three years, the council elected to patch the budget together by reducing services. Now the only option to a tax increase would involve cutting critical services - public works, fire, police, etc. 

Elected officials want the city to look nice to attract good businesses and to keep good families. Since business sales tax is our largest source of revenue, making our city look great is critical. I wouldn't be surprised to see additional funding for maintenance of streetscapes, parks, and other city facilities. As part of the neighborhood revitalization program, an additional code enforcement officer has been suggested. 

Elected officials believe the prudent budget approach to providing fire services is to fully fund our fire contract for a year to accommodate either outcome of the fire district referendum. They may also decide to fund the first year bond payment for a hybrid fire station, and additional firefighters. By funding these items the city is prepared and can handle whichever way the November Fire District vote goes.

As we begin the budget process, here is a schedule of events:


May 1, 2013 – 6:30 p.m. – Regular City Council Meeting - City Administration will formally present the tentative budget for 2013/2014 to the city council. The city council officially acknowledges receipt, which allows the budget documents to be made available for public inspection. (State Statute requires budget documents to be made available at least 10 days prior to a public hearing on the budget.) The council must then set a time and date for the public hearing and also set a date for a public hearing regarding the previous year 2012/2013 fiscal year budget.
At all city council meetings, comments can be given during citizen comment time. An individual has two minutes to present information, and will have five minutes if they represent a group in attendance.
May 8, 2013 – 6 p.m. – City Council Work Session – The city council will have a general budget discussion.
May 15, 2013 – 6:30 p.m. – Regular City Council Meeting – The city council will continue with a general budget discussion.
May 29, 2013 – 6-7 p.m. – Town Hall Meeting – This is an opportunity for the public to come in and talk to elected officials and ask questions regarding the budget. Capital budget projects and project initiatives may also be addressed.
June 5, 2013 – 6:30 p.m. – Regular City Council Meeting – Two public hearings for the 2013-2014 Fiscal Year Budget and for the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year Budget will be held at this city council meeting. The public is welcome to come and give input. (Public input will also be taken at any of the city council meetings.) The city council may consider adoption of these budgets at that meeting.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Council Creates Ad Hoc Committee to Study Fire District


In a move to enhance transparency and education, Taylorsville City Council members created an ad hoc committee to explore the November vote on whether Taylorsville should join the Salt Lake Valley Fire District.

“We wanted a group of residents who would look at this issue with an open mind, study the facts, and present the information to the public,” said Council Chair Dama Barbour. “We are okay with whatever their findings may be.”

Barbour asked each of the five city council members to invite two people from their district to serve on this committee. Former Mayor Janice Auger Rasmussen is chairing the committee which has been actively meeting, gathering data, listening to professionals, and dissecting the information. The group is expected to present their findings during a city council meeting this summer.

“We appreciate the progressive step the council has made to allow the 10 of us to explore this issue,” said Rasmussen. “We have some on the committee who were pro Fire District, some who were anti, and some, like me, who needed more information to decide what would be best for the city. Everyone has put this aside to do their due diligence in researching the options for fire services.”

The committee is specifically looking at costs and service protocols. They are exploring different possibilities including: joining the Salt Lake Valley Fire District, starting an independent Taylorsville Fire Department, contracting with a neighboring city for fire and emergency services, and continuing to contract with the Unified Fire Authority, which is what the city does at present.

The city council voted last summer to join the Fire District, a separate taxing entity which would then fund Taylorsville’s fire and emergency services through Unified Fire Authority.

The Salt Lake Valley Fire Service Area District does not provide the actual fire services, but is a funding mechanism to pay for the services. The Fire District has the ability to levy property taxes which are then forwarded to UFA for fire services. Currently unincorporated Salt Lake County, Herriman, Riverton, and Midvale are part of the Fire District.

Residents, who disagreed with the city council’s decision, submitted enough petition signatures to put the issue on the November 2013 ballot.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

City Council Summary 4/17/13

John Purvis was appointed as the chair of the Green Committee.

UPD Precinct Chief Tracy Wyant gave awards to several police officers. Last month a group of Girl Scouts has their cookie money stolen outside Walmart. Unified Police Department was able to apprehend the suspects within a matter of days. Wyant gave Taylorsville precinct awards to those who were involved in finding the suspects: Sgt. Stanton VanWagoner, Detectives Michel Valencia, Scott Lloyd, Jesse Allen, Louie Muniz, and Officers Jason Huggard and Juston Ellis.


Chief Wyant also recognized Assistant Chief Wayne Dial who is being transferred out of Taylorsville to serve elsewhere in UPD. Dial has served Taylorsville since 2005 and will be missed.



Kelly Davis from West Valley Animal Control gave his quarterly report. He said that things are going well and the shelter is still headed toward a "no kill" status.

Judge Marsha Thomas gave her quarterly report on the municipal court. She said that case filings are now within 10 percent of where they were last year. Filings include 77 percent for traffic infractions, 16 percent for misdemeanors, and 7 percent for small claims. Last quarter traffic was 74 percent, so it continues to go up.

The city council approved a proclamation declaring May 2013 as Building Safety Month in the City of Taylorsville.

The council approved a renewal for both storm drain services and public works services for fiscal year 2013/2014.

The council also approved the 2013 municipal voting precincts and polling places for the city.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Wasatch Front Waste Celebrates Earth Day by Switching to Natural Gas


Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District is celebrating Earth Day this year by rolling out their first five Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles and plans to have their entire fleet of 45 vehicles switched over by 2016. They also announced new initiatives to reduce idling time and use alternative fuels.

“Our goal is to improve the environment and make life better here in the Salt Lake Valley,” said Executive Director Pam Roberts. “Besides our improved vehicles, last year we saved over $6,000 in fuel by reducing idling time.”

In 2009 Wasatch Front Waste began using bio-diesel fuel for their area clean-up vehicles and now all their entire fleet uses alternative fuels with bio-diesel or CNG. Purchase of the CNG vehicles was supplemented by a $79,000 Clean Fuels Grant awarded to Wasatch Front Waste by Utah’s Division of Air Quality.

“We applaud Wasatch Front Waste for being proactive in using vehicles that not only reduce air pollutants, but noise pollution as well,” said Taylorsville City Mayor Jerry Rechtenbach. “Clean air is a concern for all of us, and Earth Day is a great time to step up our stewardship.”

CNG is one of the cleanest fuels currently available for use in heavy-duty trucks. Compared to diesel, CNG powered trucks have enormous environmental benefits:
  • Carbon monoxide emissions are reduced by up to 80 percent.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by up to 25 percent.
  • Nitrogen oxide emissions are reduced by up to 32 percent.
  • Hydrocarbon emissions are reduced by up to 64 percent.
  • Particulate matter emissions are reduced by up to 86 percent.
  • CNG trucks also run 50 percent quieter than diesel trucks

    “Our mission is to provide sustainable, integrated collection services for the health and safety of the community,” Roberts said. “We will continue to work towards doing our part to help the environment.”

    WASATCH FRONT WASTE AND RECYCLING DISTRICT, formerly the Sanitation Division of Salt Lake County, manages weekly waste pickup, recycling, and area cleanup for 81,000 customers in the Salt Lake Valley, including Taylorsville, Herriman, Cottonwood Heights, Holladay, a portion of Murray, and unincorporated Salt Lake County. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Landfill Vouchers Available, While Supplies Last!


As part of our efforts to keep the city clean, Taylorsville City and Wasatch Front Waste offer free landfill vouchers to residents of Taylorsville. Each voucher gives $10 off a load at the Salt Lake Valley Landfill, and is good for the rest of the year. Two per household are available at the second floor receptionist desk at City Hall – 2600 W. Taylorsville Blvd. Please bring photo ID to pick up your vouchers.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Got Drugs??


By UPD Taylorsville Precinct Chief Tracy Wyant

The 6th National Prescription Medication Take-Back event will be held at Taylorsville City Hall on Saturday, April 27. These events have been very effective in reducing the rates of death, hospitalization, and emergency department visits for prescription overdoses in Utah.

An average of 23 Utahns die each month as a result of prescription opioid overdoses.  These include, but are not limited to, oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone and morphine.
  • ·      From 2000 to 2011 prescriptions for hydrocodone and oxycodone have increased by a staggering 45.4% and 111.1% respectively.
  • ·      71.1% of overdose deaths can be attributed to substance abuse problems, including use of illegal drugs, abusing prescription medications, or using inhalants. 
  • ·      Prescription narcotic deaths outnumbered motor vehicle crash deaths in 2007.

Many families are impacted by the abuse of prescription opioids.  Whether it’s a loved one battling the grips of addiction or the vehicle burglary whereby a window is broken and assorted items are stolen to support a costly and dangerous habit. The problem is substantial and the consequences are disheartening.

To assist your family, community, and law enforcement, please use these simple tips to minimize the risk of a loved one abusing or ultimately dying as a result of prescription opioid abuse:
  • ·      Never take a prescription medication that is not prescribed to you.
  • ·      Don’t use a prescription medication more often or in a higher dose than prescribed.
  • ·      Store prescription medications in a safe or locked cabinet.
  • ·      Keep track of all your medications, including frequently counting to ensure your medications are not being used or stolen by others.
  • ·      Dispose of all unused and expired medications properly.


A drop-off-site is available at the City of Taylorsville Precinct of the Unified Police Department from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm throughout the week. Additional guidelines and tips can be found at: useonlyasdirected.org, and a fact sheet can be found online at: 1.usa.gov/Ymw6Wt

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Police Officers Begin New Elementary School Program


By Mayor Jerry Rechtenbach

A responsibility of local city government is the safety and welfare of our residents, and the community in general. Taylorsville is committed to our schools and the children that attend them; so, to that end we have reached out to our schools to partner with them on programs and events that are important to them and their students.

I am excited to announce a new program we are implementing in our elementary schools in conjunction with our police officers. This program will primarily focus on drug awareness, gang awareness, bullying, and self-esteem related topics. Over the next few months our Taylorsville UPD officers will be out in each of the nine elementary schools within our city to conduct instructional programs, undertake training of students, faculty, and administration, and provide assistance on the issues and topics that the schools are facing.

We are also coordinating with all schools in the city, along with our police and fire representatives, to help them with emergency preparedness and how to coordinate their efforts with the city’s master emergency preparedness organization. Our police will be performing mock “lock-down” drills so we can be prepared.

We appreciate all of you who are involved in your schools and neighborhoods. It takes a community of involved residents to make our city the best it can be.

If you ever have any concerns that you would like to discuss, please call me on my cell phone at 801-875-8759, or schedule an appointment by calling 801-955-2009.