At today’s meeting, the Council:
- received an update from the Administration about the Mayor’s recent emergency declarations for COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the March 18th earthquake. The update included the City’s emergency responses and coordination for both local emergencies, including:
- evaluating earthquake damage in the City and to City buildings (the City and County has been closed since March 18 to evaluate damage).
- City response and aid efforts for residents and businesses and helping to share State and federal aid options to for those who may have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak and the earthquake.
- Council Members thanked the Administration and City employees for their around-the-clock work over the past weeks and for their creative and timely ideas to support Salt Lake City residents and businesses.
- accepted public comment and approved a Budget Amendment No. 5 for Fiscal Year 2019-20 that includes funding to mitigate impacts related to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak by creating the Economic Development Emergency Loan Program. The program considers loans to small and local Salt Lake City businesses to help bridge financial gaps while they await Federal and State aid. The Department of Economic Development accepted its first round of applications for local and small business emergency funding on Monday, March 23. The Administration is convening a committee to disperse this initial round of funding as soon as this week. Applications for the second round of funding are open until Thursday, April 2nd at 11:59 p.m.
- discussed Budget Amendment No. 4 for Fiscal Year 2019-20 that would also address funding to help mitigate impacts related to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and the March 18 earthquake in the Salt Lake Valley, as well as items in preparation for the City’s upcoming annual budget process. Proposals in the budget amendment for which Council Members expressed interest included funding a Financial Risk Assessment. Council Members also discussed options that would allow cushion in the City’s General Fund Balance in preparation for potential economic changes from the coronavirus outbreak and the recent earthquake. For budget amendment items the Council didn’t get to, they will hold an additional work session discussion on April 7. They will also have a public hearing that night.
- discussed and accepted remote public comment for Mayor Mendenhall’s recommended funding budgets for: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funding, Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funding, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA). This funding would be for projects and activities in 2020-21 federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds. These grants support numerous local projects, non-profits and agencies providing public benefits, such as homeless assistance, public infrastructure improvements and affordable housing. The Council continued the public hearing to its April 7 meeting in order to allow the public more time to comment on the proposed funding as the Council has shifted to virtual meetings and a new remote public comment process.
- heard a proposal to reinstate a new City traffic calming program that would be called “Livable Streets.” During last year’s City budget process, the Council placed $100,000 in a holding account and asked the Administration to develop recommendations for how to use the funds and identify any additional resources that would be needed. The Council supported via straw poll to release the one-time funding for the Administration to develop a Citywide plan that would implement a wider range of actions and goals, including improvements to the safety, livability and attractiveness of neighborhood streets.
- interviewed and approved multiple appointments to various City boards and commissions.
Tonight, the Council held its first virtual Council meeting that included public hearings and general public comment. In addition to the new remote comment option, comments are also always accepted by calling our 24-hour comment line at 801-535-7654 or by emailing email@example.com. All comments received through any source are shared with the Council and added to the public record. Check back to view comments submitted during tonight’s virtual Council meeting here. Comments will be posted 24 hours after the meeting.