At today’s meetings, the Council:
- kicked off its annual budget process for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2020-21. See the Council’s Budget Process 101 here. (The Council expects to receive Mayor Mendenhall’s Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21 at its May 5th formal meeting.) Today’s presentations and discussions included proposed budgets for the Department of Public Utilities, the City Library System, and the Department of Airports:
- the Department of Public Utilities proposed budget included updates on the City’s new $711 million Water Reclamation Facility, as well as the budget impact of regulatory requirements the City’s growth. The proposal also included projected impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic uncertainty, including possible decreased revenue due to reduced water use, deferred bill payments, deferral of most planned rate increases, and temporarily delaying some of its larger capital projects.
- the City Library proposed budget included planning for the next phases of Governor Herbert’s Utah Leads Together 2.0 Plan for Health and Economic Recovery by identifying community needs and seeing how the Library System can align to meet those needs. Discussion included how public libraries become even more of a community asset during recessions such as access to free materials and resources, staff for reference assistance, and strong internet connections.
- the Department of Airports proposed budget included information about plans for re-scoping the New SLC International Airport based on changing demand. The airport has continued to experience decreased travelers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is still in a healthy financial position due to prudent budgeting and recent federal dollars. The airport is still aiming for its September 15 completion date of Phase 1, as the construction site is observing temperature checks and social-distancing protocols.
- received an updated from Mayor Mendenhall about COVID-19 response in the City and coordination with Salt Lake County and State officials. The Mayor clarified that social distancing efforts remain in place, and while restaurants may now accept orders inside as opposed to curbside pickup, many restaurant owners in the City aren’t yet comfortable with that option. City officials continue to monitor city-specific data. Discussion also included preliminary support for an emergency relief fund from existing Arts Council dollars for individual artists of all disciplines who are residents of Salt Lake City and who are experiencing loss of work due to COVID-19. The Council will share information on how artists can apply for these funds as soon as it is available.
- held a follow-up discussion and unanimously approved via straw poll to support Mayor Mendenhall’s funding recommendations for the One-year Action Plan for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and other federal grants for Fiscal Year 2020-21. The approval comes with the intent that at least $30,000 will be found for The Inn Between from other funding sources (not Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annual grants). The Council also held a follow-up discussion for the City’s 2020-24 Consolidated Plan, which details the City’s goals and objectives to build healthy and sustainable communities through four federal grants: Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), Home Investment Partnerships, and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA). The Council approved a target area, which identifies where CDBG money can be spent for building transportation amenities and supporting small businesses, that combines elements of the Administration’s multiple proposals. The Council is tentatively scheduled to vote on the Consolidated Plan and the One-year Action Plan at its May 5 meeting.
- held a follow-up discussion for a proposal that would increase the building heights within a portion of the G-MU (Gateway Mixed Use) zoning district from a current maximum of 120 feet up to 190 feet across portions of two separate blocks located between 500 West and the railroad tracks (approximately 625 West) and 200 South and 400 South. Council Members voiced their support for more tall buildings in downtown and asked staff to prepare a list of issues discussed for the Council to review before further action is considered.
- accepted public comment on multiple grant applications.
- interviewed and approved multiple appointments to the Transportation Advisory Board.
- also acting as the Board of Directors for Local Building Authority (LBA), set the public hearing dates of Tuesday, May 19 and Tuesday, June 2 at 7 p.m. to accept public comment about the upcoming proposed City budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21. Budget discussions will take place in May and June before final adoption in mid-June. Information on how to participate remotely can be found here and will be updated prior to each meeting.
All agenda-related comments received through any source are shared with the Council and added to the Council public meeting record.
Visit the Council’s agenda page for meeting documents and video or view an archive of prior meeting recaps.