The 2017 legislative session is over. I will try to let you know what legislation was passed that will impact you and our city. One topic of discussion was the homeless problem in our state and especially in Salt Lake County. As you all know, we do have a homeless shelter in Midvale for adults with children. In last year’s session, the Legislature required Midvale to have the shelter available for year-round use with that the year-round provision “sun setting” or going back to a six-month operation within four years. We are now in year two and we will continue to urge those in charge to consider looking for a new location that better suits their needs.
We did get some help from the legislature and Representative Bruce Cutler. Representative Cutler requested funding to two new full-time police officers to work with our existing Resource Officer at the shelter and with Midvale Businesses. This year we had only one officer to work with the shelter and when he was on duty things were better controlled but when he was off duty other problems occurred. With three officers, we feel we will have much better control and oversight. These officers work with the shelter employees, with those who live in the facility, as well as surrounding property and business owners to solve problems and to keep everyone safe.
Transportation funding was a winner! The Legislature approved a $1billion dollar bond for road projects throughout the State. One project that is important to Midvale is the I-15 Project that will add a southbound lane on the freeway from SR 201 to 12300 South. Included in that project is the 7200 South Reconstruction from the I-15 interchange to 800 West. This will include the widening of the street and improvements of the interchange. Also, included in the bond is $47 million for Salt Lake County projects of which Midvale has requested $1.5 million to start the Jordan Bluffs Bingham Junction Blvd. Project.
Funding for Education increased by $243 Million. This will provide for the construction new buildings, a 4% increase in the weighted pupil unit, an increase for teacher’s salaries and funding to pay for licensing costs and teaching supplies. The legislature also approved $190 million for expansion for the University of Utah Medical Center.
Alcohol Reform. This legislation makes changes in licensing requirements. This the eliminates the “Zion Curtain of the past and allows other options to separate the area where drinks are made from the areas of the establishment where children are seated.
Short Term Rentals. Short term rentals have been a problem for cities and their residents for some time. Some cities have even tried to prohibit these types of rental properties. The legislation passed this year allows cities to continue to develop regulations and conditions for this type of rental but a city may not prohibit property owners from advertising their properties on short term rental websites.
911 Emergency Service. Major amendments to provisions related to providing 911 emergency service were made which includes funding for VECC (Valley Emergency Communication Center) and the state-wide 911 network. To fund this initiative the average phone bill will increase by about 50 cents per month.
Food Truck licensing. Food truck licensing and regulations allows for a food truck owner/operator to only be required to have one permit, license and health inspection from one city that will be honored by all cities. This would allow for operation in any city without requiring addition licensing and inspection.