Salt Lake City

City Council

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January 12 RDA Board and Council Meetings

At today’s Council and Redevelopment Agency Meetings:

  • The Redevelopment Agency Board Members have elected a new leadership team for 2021. Pictured: new Chair Ana Valdemoros (left) and new Vice Chair Dan Dugan (right).
  • The City Council, after discussing a police department request to allow additional hiring for staffing needs, gave its support to hire a new police class.
  • The Council received an update from the Racial Equity in Policing Commission on various subcommittee recommendations, and the Commission’s public listening session scheduled for next week.

    RDA items
      The Board:

  • chose Board Member Ana Valdemoros, who represents Council District 4, as the Chair. Dan Dugan, who represents District 6, was chosen as the Vice Chair. The Chair serves a two-year term, the Vice Chair has a one-year term as members of the RDA leadership team.
  • adopted a resolution that approved a loan up to $250,000 to Wasatch Community Gardens for an affordable housing development at approximately 633 East 800 South. Board Members discussed various loan terms and ended up with modified loan language. The proposed project consists of eight studio units and would be subject to a 50-year restriction keeping them affordable to those making up to 70% of area median income.
  • adopted a resolution approving the 9 Line Interlocal Agreement between Salt Lake County and the RDA. The interlocal agreement approves use of a portion of tax increment to support the implementation of the 9 Line Community Reinvestment Area Plan.
  • discussed options related to Block 70 disposition, but moved it and agenda items numbered 6, 7, and 9 because of time constraints. These items will be considered for an upcoming meeting.

Council Work Session items
    The Council received:

  • an informational update from the Mayor, who thanked the residents who rescued an SLCPD officer from a burning car on Saturday.
     
  • an informational update relating to the local emergencies including COVID-19: 
    • the Mayor invited County officials, including the Health Department, who gave a short presentation regarding the vaccination rollout and status. Officials said the Covid surge is larger than the one in June; a regular supply of vaccines is still the biggest challenge. First dosages have been given to the County’s first responders. Next week, the first general population vaccines are to be given, starting with age 70 and over. So far, nearly 10,000 vaccines have been given in the County.
       
  • an informational update on relieving the condition of people experiencing homelessness. The Mayor reported: 
    • the Community Commitment program continues to help people with placement in shelters.
    • the second overflow shelter at the Airport Inn was full last week. Other temporary housing offers are still available, such as hotel vouchers and some space at the Resource Centers.
  • an update on recent efforts on various projects related to racial equity and policing in the City. It included:
    • Racial Equity in Policing Commission facilitators who reported on subcommittee meetings. One subcommittee, for example, is reviewing training personnel and their practices within PD; another is looking at school resource officers and how they affect the school community; and the third is reviewing Police policies.
    • noting a public listening session is scheduled by the Commission for Jan. 20 at 5 pm. More on the Commission.  
      1/15/2021 UPDATE: The public listening session has been postponed. Please check the commission’s website for updated information.

  Other Agenda items
     The Council received:

  • an informational update from the Police Department about the City’s Social Worker Program. The program, which gets national recognition, operates out of the Community Connections Center downtown and uses a co-responder model where a social worker and police officer both respond to some types of calls such as mental health crises. Now with seven positions, the model went from walk-ins to co-responding to calls with officers. The value of the program and goal to provide non-law enforcement response to some critical calls will be the topic of future budget conversations to align resources with the needs of our community.
     
  • a briefing about an ordinance that would amend the current budget of Salt Lake City. The proposal includes such items as funding to cover cost increases to turn the historic Fisher Mansion Carriage House into a recreation hub, and create a redevelopment plan for the former Glendale Waterpark. 
  • The budget amendment also included reviewing Police Department staffing needs and changes. The Police Chief described the situation as “critical” when it comes to the City’s ability to respond to calls for service. The Chief noted nearly 70 officers have left the City, plus additional officers who have been on temporary medical leave due to the pandemic. The reduction in officers have coincided with calls for service, which were up in 2020 by more than 16,000 calls from the year before. The Council, by a straw poll, supported the hiring of a police class.
  • A second public hearing to accept public comment on this overall budget amendment is scheduled for Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 7 p.m. A vote on this amendment has not yet been scheduled.

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.

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