Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summary of the July 18 Meetings

In the Work Session

Municipal Election
Provo City and Utah County will be working together to administer a vote-by-mail election for the 2017 municipal elections. City Recorder Janene Weiss explained how the vote-by-mail system functions and what the costs are projected to be. Voters are encouraged  to visit to verify that they are registered to vote and that their mailing address is listed correctly. Ballots will not be forwarded like other mail. Provo City has information about candidates and the voting process on Provo City reviewed in the work meeting and approved in the Council meeting the signing of an interlocal agreement specifying each entity's responsibilities.

Job Creation
The Economic Development Department gave another in a series of presentations to Council. Focusing on job creation in Provo, they started with some demographics comparing Provo to neighboring cities. The comparisons showed that Provo had a lower median household income and higher poverty rate. That influences retailer decisions on where to locate. Provo has over 59,000 jobs, a number which continues to grow and is higher in comparison than the other cities. Provo City works with the Governor's Office of Economic Development to respond to businesses interested in locating in Utah. Although some businesses that had their start in Provo have moved to other cities as they grow, many of the employees continue to live here despite the move. Future Economic Development presentations will focus on entrepreneurship and retail incentives.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Provo City Council Work Meeting, July 18, 2017

Agenda  (Time stamps have been added on YouTube to the individual agenda items to help you find them in the video.) 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Summary of the July 11 Meetings

In the Work Session

Joint Meeting with Metropolitan Water Board
This was the first joint meeting of the Council with the board members of the Metropolitan Water District. The Metropolitan Water District (MWD) plays a specific role in the future of water and water rights within Provo. The Utah Metropolitan Water Act was set up so that these metropolitan water boards would be separate entities from the cities they serve. It is a quasi-governmental unit. They have the ability to levy a tax, but cannot do so without Council approval.

Provo City can buy water rights, but they don’t have the ability to sell any of those rights. Only a Metropolitan Water District has access to sell/lease water rights. For example, if there are specific rights that Provo City is interested in, and knows they are never going to sell, it may be wise for Provo City to purchase those rights, rather than the PMWDB. Looking to the future, it is critical that Provo City and the PMWDB are smart about water and water rights in Provo City, follow federal and state legislation, and provide for our anticipated population needs.

Downtown Provo
Downtown Provo, Inc. (DPI) is a business association in the downtown area and receives Provo City support. Council asked to hear from Quinn Petersen, who was recently hired as executive director of DPI, on the activities and goals of the organization.

The Economic Development Department began the first in a series of presentations to Council. This first presentation focused on their efforts in downtown Provo. They facilitate business interactions with City departments and services and act as a point of contact for downtown businesses. In addition to asking what Provo City can do to help the business, they also ask what we can do to get out of their way. The Economic Development Department promotes and supports business activity through business attraction, expansion, and retention. You can see videos of recent activity on their Facebook page.

Provo-Orem Council Joint Meeting, July 13, 2017


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summary of the June 20 Meetings

In the Work Session

Rock Canyon
Council members requested this presentation from the Rock Canyon Preservation Alliance regarding the group's proposal to put Rock Canyon under the long-term protection of a conservation easement. This will be heard again at a future work meeting after the conservation easement agreement has been drafted.

Parks and Recreation also presented a master plan for the Rock Canyon Trailhead area that will guide the short term and long term development of the trailhead and focuses on preservation, education, and recreation.

Affordable Housing
Robert Vernon, Executive Director of Provo City Housing Authority, gave a presentation on affordable housing. This topic often brings a lot of emotion and can deteriorate to trying to keep out "those people." Mr. Vernon explained that we need to have a better understanding of who is actually being impacted by the need for affordable housing. Area median income (AMI) for a family of four is $69,200. That sets a level for low income at $55,350, very low income at $34,600, and extremely low income at $24,600. One in four households in Utah County have incomes below 50% of the area median income (AMI). Life events like divorce or the death of a spouse can drop a family into a low income category. In Utah, the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $849. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities (without paying more than 30% of income on housing) a household must earn $2,829 monthly or $33,944 annually. That would take 90 work house per week at minimum wage. The typical two bedroom, two bathroom unit in new apartment projects is about $1,250. Mr. Vernon concluded with some solutions he proposed for the Council to consider.