June 18, 2021 — June has many significant events happening. This Pride month included several celebrations and opportunities to learn and get involved to support the diverse LGBTQ+ community of Salt Lake City. The Mayor and City Council adopted a ceremonial resolution, accepted by the Executive Director of the Utah Pride Center, celebrating Pride Month. Additionally, Juneteenth (June 19) is a day commemorating the end of African American enslavement in the United States. This past year has seen our city and our country reckoning with long-standing issues of racial inequality. While the City and the community are working to address these issues, there is more work to be done. Finally, this month the annual City budget was approved. Read on to learn more.
The City Council approved the Salt Lake City budget! On June 15th, the Council adopted a $358 million general fund budget with a unanimous vote from the seven-member board. The new fiscal year starts July 1st and concentrates on essential services such as road repair, public safety, housing, providing support for the community to recover from the COVID-19 virus pandemic of the last 16 months, and citywide equity issues. The new budget also put federal assistance from the American Rescue Plan to lasting use. “I’m so pleased with this year’s budget process and appreciate the City Council’s careful consideration. Great care went into drafting this budget, which will help more people afford housing, support the well-being of City employees, and will make residents safer,” said Mayor Mendenhall. “And that’s on top of providing the essential services upon which our residents and businesses rely.”
Discriminating against an individual in housing because of their gender identity or sexual orientation is prohibited under Utah’s Fair Housing Act. This Pride month, join the Disability Law Center for a Q&A panel discussion of the intersections between the LGBTQIA+ community and fair housing work. The panel is being held online, Tuesday June 29th from 1–2 pm. Register at this link.
The City’s creation of the Racial Equity in Policing (REP) Commission in mid-2020 resulted in ongoing recommendations from the Commission, some of which were adopted immediately, while others were funded in the new budget, and still others are being reviewed . The annual operating budget restores funding for the Police Department as it works this summer to fill vacancies and improve response times. The City Council carried forward into the new fiscal year nearly $2.3 million that it had placed into a holding account last year for implementing recommendations from the audit of the police department, REP Commission and the public. The Council also decided to invest in other public safety staffing models, such as additional social workers, medical response teams, and the potential for adding civilian responders as ways to help diversify responses for public safety calls like traffic enforcement and non-emergency calls.
UTA has launched new late night service in Salt Lake City! This pilot program will allow those within the Salt Lake City limits (excluding the airport) to book a ride using UTA’s on-demand service. The service will run through Labor Day weekend, ending Saturday, September 4th. Service in this area will be available Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 10 PM–4 AM. Use a transfer, a UTA pass or purchase a UTA fare for $2.50. Just make sure you have the Via app downloaded and ready to go! Learn more at rideuta.com/latenight
This is a great opportunity to take the Frequent Transit Network bus routes (Routes 2, 9, and 21) to a destination and then use the Via app when you need a late night ride!
You probably already know that road construction season is in full swing! The biggest Funding Our Future bond reconstruction project that has started construction is 300 West. You can minimize delay by planning ahead. Our advice is to travel outside of rush hour, and remember there are no left turns on 300 West, so make sure to access businesses from the right lane. Get all the info at 300westslc.com . Learn about other Funding Our Future bond projects that have started construction, like 900 East and 100 South, by watching the video here.
Separately, Funding Our Future sales tax revenue is supporting street maintenance; several of these surface treatment projects have also started. Learn more—and take the survey about draft street designs—here!