April 24, 2020 — We hope you are staying safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. You may have noticed this email looks a little different from past updates. This is because we have switched email platforms; our email platform isn’t the only thing that has changed. Read on for the latest updates about Funding Our Future programs and projects, as well as COVID-related updates, and remember you can always check out FundingOurFutureSLC.com.
Salt Lake City’s Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND) team recently presented to the City Council, who discussed and reviewed, federal grants funding for the City’s 2020-24 Consolidated Plan and individual grant applications as required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The four grants include the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership Program, Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA). These grants support funding for numerous local projects, non-profits and agencies providing public benefits, such as homeless assistance, public infrastructure improvements and affordable housing related to Funding Our Future housing programs. HAND also recently published COVID-related housing resources.
Salt Lake City’s public safety staff—the SLC Police Department (SLCPD), SLC Fire Department (SLCFD), and more—are part of the frontline essential workers helping our City navigate the ongoing COVID situation and the effects of the March 18th earthquake. Thank you to these workers! Mayor Mendenhall has asked the community to support the City’s efforts to keep everyone safe by making and donating homemade cloth masks. Already hundreds of cloth masks have been dropped off at City fire stations. Learn more about this here.
When Salt Lake City Council adopted the FY 2019-20 budget, they included intent language that “the definition of ‘public safety’ include SLCPD, SLCFD, and 911 Dispatch for allocation of Funding Our Future revenue.” Currently, Funding Our Future sales tax revenue has supported the SLCPD to hire new officers and order all necessary equipment for them. The officers are currently either in training or on the street. The majority of the civilian positions have been filled with the others in process. During recent budget amendment discussions, Mayor Mendenhall and Salt Lake City Council considered using Funding Our Future sales tax revenue to fund new vehicles for the SLCFD. On April 7th, the Salt Lake City Council accepted public comment and adopted parts of Budget Amendment No. 4 for FY 2020-21 which includes funding for three new fire vehicles, as part of Funding Our Future. Finally, there will be a Facebook Live AMA in May focused on public safety. Stay tuned for more details!
As part of the ongoing effort to limit the spread of the COVID virus, keep everyone safe and ensure fiscal responsibility, UTA began reducing service temporarily on April 5, 2020. The decision to temporarily reduce service did not come easily. However, after evaluating the situation and closely monitoring ridership, UTA has decided to focus resources on providing critical service for those who depend on them for their essential travel needs at this time. UTA has also implemented additional disinfecting and social distancing measures to keep riders and operators safe. This will impact service on the Frequent Transit Network, a partnership between UTA and Salt Lake City. Check the UTA website for the latest changes.
Many essential workers in our community, such as healthcare and grocery store employees, depend on the continued operation of transit services. UTA currently has no plans to lay off any of its operators. During this period of uncertainty, the goal is to retain operators so that when ridership increases again, service can resume to normal frequency levels.
Salt Lake City’s street projects are continuing during this time. Progress is being made on projects like the residential street reconstruction project on Briarcliff Avenue. This project, along with several other street reconstruction projects, was made possible thanks to the 2018 voter-approved Funding Our Future bond. Learn about the other projects happening over the next two years by viewing the bond map here. Back on March 4th, SLC hosted a Facebook Live Q&A discussing all the upcoming Funding Our Future streets reconstruction projects as well as this new map. You can rewatch that recording here.
Increased pavement maintenance is also a part of the Funding Our Future improved streets critical need area. You can access the project pages for current streets surface treatment projects here.
Salt Lake City’s budget season has begun! This past April 21st, Salt Lake City Council kicked off its annual budget process for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2020-21. Funding Our Future items will be covered in upcoming budget briefings, so stay tuned!
Here’s how the budget works:
The Mayor works with each City department to draft a recommended budget. The Mayor then presents her recommended budget to the Council on May 7 (for the fiscal year of July 1 2020 – June 30 2021). The Council holds several discussions in May and June, which the public is welcome to attend. State law requires the Council to adopt the budget by the end of June. If the budget results in any potential increase to property taxes, the City also holds a Truth in Taxation hearing in August.
Once the budget is adopted, the Council receives program status updates from the Mayor’s Administration. If needed, revisions can be made through Budget Amendments (for example, recently adopted parts of Budget Amendment No. 4), which happen several times a year. Learn more about the budget process here.
During this time of uncertainty, it’s important to know that Salt Lake City continues its day-to-day operations to provide essential services as well as emergency response operations when necessary. Now more than ever, it’s important for Salt Lake City to support our neighbors. Again, know that Salt Lake City and its partners are working to maintain normal City operations as much as possible, and will continue working to improve services for the future. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall is providing continuing guidance for our City. You can check out a recap of the Mayor’s first 100 days in office here.