Thursday, August 29, 2013

Council Hosts “Thank You” BBQ for Neighborhood Chairs

The Council recently hosted a BBQ for Neighborhood Chairs to thank them for their time as volunteers serving their communities.  Provo Mayor John Curtis was also present.

“We are so appreciative of the Neighborhood Chairs, and their efforts to communicate to the Council the concerns of their communities,” said Council Chair Gary Winterton. “We welcome the opportunity to recognize those who serve their neighbors in this capacity.”

After dinner, Neighborhood Chairs held a brief meeting to discuss UTF (Utility Transportation Fund, which you can find more about here), and then toured the new facilities at the Provo Recreation Center.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Council Meets with School Board to Discuss Future Capital Expenditures

Dixon Middle School, listed as an urgent funding need in the advisory report. 

The Council met with the Provo School Board recently to discuss upcoming funding needs, and dialogue about how planning for the future can best be accomplished.

The School Board shared with the Council the results of its Facility Advisory Committee, which is a committee composed of district representatives and community members to help assess funding needs for schools in the district. Members of the committee and their report can be viewed here. The report recommends funding for urgent needs at schools, and presents a $90 million figure to cover the costs.
Provo Fire Station No.2, mentioned by the Council as a future need requiring funding.

The Council also shared some future projects which will require additional planning and funding. Among those items mentioned were a needed reconstruction of Fire Station #2 on Canyon Road, and a possible rebuilding and/or relocation of the Provo City Center and a new public safety complex. The Council also discussed its plans to continue dialogue about a Utility Transportation Fee as a long term mechanism to fund roads. Among the Council’s objectives for road funding is seeing that those that use the roads, help pay for their maintenance.

What are your thoughts about these issues? Leave a comment on this article, or contact your Council Member directly here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Council Member Guest Post - Chair Gary Winterton on Preserving Historic Landmarks in Provo

Knight Block Building
Many view historic buildings as a community asset, adding inherent value to the community by preserving history, identity and uniqueness (see the goals outlined in Vision 2030). Historical landmarks in Provo are recommended to the Council by the Landmarks Commission, which consists of seven Provo residents, appointed by the Mayor. The Council then makes a final determination to place the sites on the Provo City Landmarks Register.

Hannah Maria Libby Smith Home

Once on the register, these properties are required to maintain the historic character of the building and they can’t be torn down, except in extreme circumstances. The goal is to preserve these assets for generations to come.
Alma Van Wagenen House

But, there is another aspect to consider when requiring property owners to keep these historic buildings without substantial alterations. Historic buildings do have costs to upkeep and/or to rehabilitate in order to maintain their historic character.
Knight - Allen House

What is the right balance between preserving these community assets and the rights of the property owner to do what other people can do with their property?

As a Council Member, I’m committed to finding what the right balance is and potentially implement some measures to make that happen. Since historic preservation should reflect the values of the community, I’d like to know your thoughts on the balance between historic preservation, city involvement and property rights.


Should the city require significant historic properties to be preserved? free polls 

Please feel free to comment on this article and the issues it raises here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Parks and Rec Master Plan Available for Review, Comment

The latest draft of the Parks and Rec Master Plan has been released. The Council will be reviewing this document in the months to come, and would appreciate any thoughts or comments.

You may find the latest draft here, and results from the Parks and Recreation 2012 Community Interest & Opinion Survey here.

As always, your comments are welcome on this article on the blog, or you may directly reach your Council Member here.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Celebrating the Opening of the South Franklin Community Center

Council Member Hal Miller offers some brief remarks at the opening
Photo courtesy of South Franklin Community Center
The South Franklin Community Center opened its doors for the first time on July 30, 2013. The project was funded in part by a federal CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) approved by the Provo Municipal Council.

The building is located on the edge of “The Boulders” apartments at 750 S. 650 W. and will provide a location for social services, education programs, and community events.

According to reporting by the Daily Herald, funding approved by the Council from federal CDBG funds amount to $245,000. The building will be officially owned by the city, but will be managed by the United Way of Utah County.

Also according the Daily Herald, Provo Mayor John Curtis, who was present at the ribbon cutting, noted how many departments at Provo City came together to help make the center a reality. Mayor Curtis emphasized the efforts of the police department, fire department, and the mayor’s office and Municipal Council in working together on this project.

*Update - It should be noted that the building is not yet open for curriculum and new programs, as it will take some time to get the new center up to speed, according to the United Way. It is anticipated that the new center will be ready to begin open access to those who need it within the next several weeks.

Council Rejects Property Tax Increase

Provo residents can look forward to not seeing an increase in their property taxes this year, as the Provo Council rejected a proposal Tuesday to raise the city's property tax by two percent.

The Daily Herald has a great rundown of the details surrounding the decision, which can be found at the link here.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Council Passes "Unlawful Transfer" Ordinance

The Council passed an ordinance "Unlawful Transfer on a Roadway" which prevents the “unsafe transfer of money or other personal property in a roadway” by unanimous vote during Council Meeting on Tuesday, July 30.

The ordinance addresses concerns that such transfers affect public safety and traffic flow on designated streets. It specifically prohibits any transactions occurring in the right-of-way between persons and unparked vehicles in certain road designations.

The ordinance does not violate anyone’s opportunity to give money or property to persons on the street, but requires drivers first park their car legally in a legal parking place. The ordinance specifically will apply to Center Street Pedestrian Mall, State roads, and arterial and collector roads. Local roads will not be affected.

The text of the ordinance will be published here.

If you have feedback for your Council Member, you may reach them by leaving a comment on this article, or reach them directly here.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Council Thanks Chief Gregory

The Provo Council  would like to publicly express their gratitude for the care that Chief Rick Gregory has shown Provo, and for his service and leadership rendered as Chief.

Several Council Members offered their thoughts on the impact of Chief Gregory on the Provo Community.

Council member Gary Garrett said he was impressed with how Gregory responded to people on an individual level. “He’s been very willing to engage at a grassroots level with people to directly confront issues they have faced,” Garrett said.

Council member Rick Healey, who spent his career policing Provo as a law enforcement officer said Gregory was able to build relationships of trust. “Gregory’s ability to consolidate and create a working atmosphere for the police officers, and a confidence from the citizens has been wonderful,” Healey said.

Council member Laura Cabanilla said Gregory made a lasting impression on Provo. “Chief Gregory made an incredible impression on the department in the time that he was here, and his presence will be felt for a long time.  His influence and leadership will be a benefit to our community for years to come,” Cabanilla said.

Council Member Hal Miller offered his thoughts on how Chief Gregory impacted both the community, and the Provo Police Department. “As a candidate for City office I sought brief meetings with its administrative leaders so as to be clearer about their agenda and hopes.  Chief Gregory generously made time for me at his office, where much of the conversation dealt with his experience and advocacy of Community-oriented Policing,” Miller said. “I was taken by the concept and by his astute, approachable manner.  Though I am no observer of the inner workings of the department he has led, I have followed its accomplishments with interest and regard.  As the Chief departs for family-oriented pursuits, I view the Police Department's further maturation and sophistication during his watch as very much a reflection of his personal integrity, givenness to his profession, equanimity, and decency.  On behalf of my family, I thank him for the difference for good he has made in our community.”