July 17, 2020 — We hope that everyone is wearing masks and staying safe and healthy during these challenging times. Despite the barriers that COVID has created, Funding Our Future programs continue to make progress with the goal of creating positive change for the community, now and for the long-term. Read on for the latest updates, including the fact that the Funding Our Future dashboards are updated with the latest adopted budget.
The Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency (RDA) recently published a draft housing framework which would formalize roles and responsibilities in affordable housing development using Funding Our Future funds. This is part of the ongoing effort to streamline the City’s various resources for developers into a single review and application process. The framework would also establish one set of rules and guidelines.
Meanwhile, Salt Lake City Housing and Neighborhood Development Division (HAND) is managing a new mortgage assistance program included in the latest budget adoption. They also have published COVID-related housing resources for the community.
On June 25th, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, the Salt Lake City Council, and members of the community announced the Commission on Racial Equity in Policing, a new advising body convened to make recommendations to the Mayor and Council on Salt Lake City’s policy, budget, and culture of policing. The Commission will be asked to provide monthly reports and it will be asked to produce a final report by July 1st of 2021. On July 10th, Council Members Chris Wharton, Ana Valdemoros, and Amy Fowler participated in an “Ask Me Anything” Facebook Live event on the Salt Lake City Police Department budget and racial equity efforts. You can rewatch that here. You can also read more about what the City Council has done to address equity in policing here.
Did you take the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) Rider COVID survey? With more than 1,000 responses, 37% of respondents depend on UTA for transportation and 78% are aware of safety measures UTA has taken because of COVID. It’s good that most people are aware that UTA is here for essential trips, and that they are working hard to ensure safety on the system with actions like requiring masks and daily vehicle and station cleaning and disinfecting. You can monitor UTA’s recovery progress, safety mandates, and future plans on their website Recovery Storyboard at rideuta.com/recovery.
Additionally, during this construction season of 2020, Salt Lake City in partnership with UTA is making improvements to certain bus stops across the City! Some of these improvements are along the Frequent Transit Network. The primary purpose of the improvements is to make the bus stops accessible to all riders, and improvements will vary by stop but may include the addition of shelters, benches, trash cans, bike racks, and lighting. Learn more at slc.gov/transit.
Increased pavement maintenance is a part of the Funding Our Future improved streets critical need area. Thank you to everyone that tuned into the streets maintenance Facebook Live earlier this month! A map of the 2020 surface treatments is live now, check it out here.
You can also learn about Funding Our Future bond street reconstruction projects happening over the next two years by viewing the map here. Many projects are making progress this summer, like Coatsville Avenue, 700 West, 500 East, and 2000 East. 2000 East, from Parley’s Canyon Boulevard to 2930 South, will actually be closed from July 20th to late August. This temporary closure will allow reconstruction activities to begin.
Although the City Council approved the $326 million general fund budget on June 16th (learn more about the adopted budget here), continue to stay engaged with the 2020-2021 budget! For instance, at the July 14th meeting, the Council discussed Budget Amendment No. 1 for Fiscal Year 2020-21. The budget process allows for amendments throughout the fiscal year. Budget amendments occur for specific types of changes to a Department’s budget–for example, a requested amendment will increase the budget of department or shift budgeted amounts between funds or departments. Additionally, the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget process is currently underway. CIP money is available for citywide community projects that improve public property. This includes streets and sidewalks, parks, and buildings—Funding Our Future money has been used for CIP projects. These projects have a service life of five or more years and cost $50,000 or more. The Council reviews the CIP plan during the annual budget process and approves the total amount of available funding. Over the summer, the Council further reviews and appropriates project-specific funding by September 1st. The next public hearing for CIP projects is Tuesday August 11th at 6 pm. Learn how to participate in the hearings here.
Salt Lake City’s higher numbers of COVID continue to warrant the ‘orange’ risk phase. Mayor Mendenhall is providing continuing guidance for our City during this time.