Redevelopment Agency Meeting
Redevelopment Agency (RDA) Art Policy
The RDA board was briefed on increasing the set aside of projects to 1.5% to align it with the city council and art board. I support this. It costs money but a small set aside is important. I believe that part of the soul of our city is partially reflected in our public art. It makes neighborhoods unique. It shows the talents of our city and we should consistently support the creation art in the public space.
144 Place Apartments
The RDA board approved a $1.5million loan for a new apartment building at 144 South 500 East. It will set aside 20% of the 110 units for low-income renters in a part of the city that needs more affordability. Good idea. We need more.
We discussed approving funding (already set aside) for stabilizing the old mattress building. It is envisioned to be a focal point of the new buildings that will surround it. I like the idea but also know that the price tag will likely be at least $3.4 million eventually, which I am not ready to support. I hedge my support not because I don’t believe in historic preservation, but because we have not allocated that type of funding to other historic buildings like the Fisher Mansion, the 15th Ward building on 900 west, or other important elements of our city’s history. I cannot support the mattress building without supporting these other landmarks.
City Council Work Session
The administration updated the council on the ongoing work to cleanup from the windstorm. They have been clearing public property of fallen trees and will soon be moving forward with picking up private property debris. If you have tree limbs place them out on the curb ASAP to be picked up over the next couple of weeks.
Community Commitment Phase II
The mayor updated on progress in the planning of the next phase of outreach and services for the unsheltered homeless in the city. Starting Oct 5, the city will partner with private organizations to offer outreach to some identified camping areas across the city and work to clean unsanitary conditions and move people into sheltered locations. I appreciate the efforts and intentions. And we still do not have enough emergency shelter beds or housing options. I am going to call this out now- the state cannot abdicate this responsibility to fund affordable housing. Neither the city nor the state builds housing. But the private market does not build it either because it “doesn’t pencil” (break-even financially) without public subsidies. The city continues to fund deeply affordable housing at twice the rate as the State of Utah. We are doing our part. It is time they did as well.
City Flag Redesign
If you took the poll, like I did, you likely had opinions on which flags designs, symbols, and colors you liked. You may not see yours exactly reflected in the presented design. I didn’t. But I also recognize that designing a flag is hard and too often just ends up with bad design because politicians intervene in those processes. Example- our current flag. I am happy with the proposed design. The Sego Lilly is native to the state, reflecting our ability to flourish under sometimes harsh conditions. It provided sustenance to native and immigrant populations in these valleys. The white and blue represent both “Salt” and “Lake” but also peace and justice, ideals we should embody as a people. As was said today, the image of the City and County Building we currently use is distinctive and classic and represents our city government. But I like a different flag that will represent the citizens and history of the city distinct from the government. That is what I see in the new flag. And that is why I support the change.