October 21, 2020 — As fall brings colder temperatures, and many holidays—as well as election day—are just around the corner, it’s a good time to plan and take action in order to stay healthy and safe as COVID continues to seriously impact our community. For the most up-to-date information, visit the State of Utah’s COVID page here and Salt Lake City’s COVID resource page here.
Read on for the latest Funding Our Future updates.
Salt Lake City is now accepting applications from local nonprofits to receive federal grants designed to help with a range of community development needs, including affordable and emergency housing assistance, and housing assistance for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS. Interested entities are invited to submit applications for activities that support local and national program requirements, and align with the 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan. An application resource guide is available online at www.slc.gov/hand.
Meanwhile, Salt Lake City’s Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND) Division continues to have a COVID-related housing resource guide for the community, and rental assistance remains available to individuals and families who experienced a documented loss of income or financial hardship related to COVID and whose gross income is at or below 100% area median income (AMI).
Salt Lake City Mayor Mendenhall and the Salt Lake City Council are working jointly to move full speed ahead on several fronts at once to address equity in policing. You can read the August 2020 Progress Report for this issue here and check out the full City Council Racial Equity and Policing Hub here . The Council specifically is planning the City’s first ever “zero-based budgeting exercise” for the Salt Lake City Police Department (SLCPD) budget. This would rebuild the Department’s budget from zero with the goal of aligning expenses with Council and community expectations. The new budget will be based on a financial audit conducted by an outside agency. This outside review and budget exercise would be a longer-term project in preparation for either mid-year budget adjustments or for the next fiscal year budget process.
In August 2020, Mayor Mendenhall signed an Executive Order directing Chief Mike Brown to make reforms to the SLCPD’s policies. Learn more details about the reforms here. Finally, the Commission on Racial Equity in Policing is meeting regularly; sub-committees have been formed and a facilitator has been hired for the Commission.
In August 2020, the Frequent Transit Network, aka FTN, bus routes (along 200 South, 900 South, and 2100 South) were restored to, or improved beyond, pre-COVID levels! Route 200, State Street North, as well as Route 217, Redwood Road, also have the same FTN service and frequency. Learn more here.
Starting this month, in partnership with Utah Transit Authority (UTA), we are making improvements to certain bus stops across the City, including some along the FTN! These improvements will make bus stops accessible to all riders, including those with disabilities. Improvements will vary by stop but may include the addition of shelters, benches, trash cans, bike racks, and lighting. Along with stop improvements, there will be some moving of bus stops to help improve the efficiency of service on existing and new routes. To learn more and see maps of where the bus improvements are happening, visit www.slc.gov/transit/
September windstorm cleanup has entered the latest phase of work which includes removing City-owned stumps and repairing sidewalks. Salt Lake City Streets crews have continued to clean up debris; the hard work of these Street crews, along with all City crews, is appreciated! Despite this year’s challenges with COVID, the windstorm, equipment breakdowns, and a wet spring, the Streets Division was still able to complete surface treatments on 140 lane miles (extremely close to the annual goal of 155 miles).
Funding Our Future bond reconstruction projects continue to make progress as well, like the 900 South reconstruction project starting in 2021. Check out that project overview video! Also, on September 15, 2020, Salt Lake City sold the second bond installment (of the $87-million Funding Our Future general obligation, or GO bond, approved by voters in 2018 for the reconstruction of the City’s streets) at approximately $20 million.
How do you plan to vote this year? The 2020 General Election will be held on November 3rd, and due to COVID will be conducted mostly by mail. Most voters have received their ballot packets in the mail, and the deadline to register to vote and be mailed a ballot is this Friday, October 23rd. To verify your voter info, register to vote, or to update your info, visit slco.org/clerk/elections/. Also on Tuesday, November 3, all UTA transit service will be free!
Salt Lake City is in the “High Level of Transmission” COVID risk level. Masks are required and only social gatherings of 10 or fewer are permitted. To learn more, please visit www.slc.gov/covid for information and additional resources.