Friday, December 26, 2014

Westside Connector Project Update

About a week ago members of the City Council as well as the Mayor and other staff took a tour to see the progress that has been made on the Westside Connector Project. They drove the route and were able to see where the road will connect along the way. The big change most people will notice will be at the University Avenue ramps on and off I-15 and where 1860 South connects.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Memories

We asked City Council members to share some of their favorite memories from the Christmas season:

Christmas in Provo - shared by Kim Santiago

As a child my most vivid Christmas memories were spending Christmas Eve at my paternal grandmother’s house in west Provo. We would indulge in slushy, green frappe and gooey, carrot pudding drizzled with caramel sauce. My talented cousins would sing or dance and we would sing Christmas carols together. I remember feelings of love and quiet reflection as we sang praises to our Lord. I also could hardly contain my excitement for the next day.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Making People a Priority

During recent Work Sessions Council Members have been discussing potential priorities for the City Council to set for 2015. Among the leaders on that list of priorities are:
  • Structurally balanced budget initiative
  • Regulatory tools for proportional control of subsidized housing
  • General Fund CIP (capital improvement project) dedicated funding source
  • Framework for fee structure and evaluation of fees
These will continue to be fine-tuned and announced some time in January. In the meantime, Council Members and their staff have had the opportunity to engage with Provo residents and address their needs this month.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Summary of the December 2 Council Meeting

In the Work Session

Presentation by Council Budget Committee:
The Budget Committee, Council Members, and the Mayor discussed the idea of cost recovery through the use of user fees. Concerns were raised regarding which types of services should result in fees. The Mayor's staff proposed some revisions to the resolution establishing the policy and intent of user fees. The Budget Committee will review these suggestions and bring it back to a future Work Meeting.

2015 Council Priorities:
After receiving input from all but one Council Member, the prospective priorities were ranked. The most popular item was a structurally balanced budget initiative. Because this is a very broad objective it will need to be broken down into smaller steps. Regulatory tools for proportional control of subsidized housing and general fund CIP dedicated funding source were the next two on the priorities list. The Mayor's office has also been developing a list of priorities for 2015 and both lists will be reviewed at the next Work Meeting.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Provo City Municipal Council Work Session - December 2, 2014

Agenda (Times have been added to the ends of the individual agenda items to help you find them in the video)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Thanksgiving thoughts from some of our City Council Members:

Gary Garrett

I am thankful to live among community members who are caring, friendly, thoughtful, aware, engaged, respectful, and who are every day striving to be their best. Provo City is great!

Hal Miller

High above our home in southeast Provo is a large outcropping known as Toad's Head. For many years, our children and I hiked to its summit on Thanksgiving morning. My wife and the children too young for the hike remained at home, busied otherwise in preparations for Thanksgiving dinner but occasionally peering through field glasses to mark our location. The pace of the ascent (and descent) typically was set by the youngest hiker, with the older ones offering encouragement and piggyback rides along the way. I brought up the rear and was the one who called for occasional breaks according to the weather, soil conditions,and mutual windedness. Generally, we completed the ascent by late morning and the return by early afternoon.

The demands of the steep climb through scrub growth, loose rocks, and boulders were formidable but, visibility permitting, brought us closer to clouds and gave us an increasingly panoramic view of the valley below. We looked on its sometimes-shimmering lake, the sprawl of the BYU campus, and other noteworthy landmarks, including our neighborhood, and, of course, our home, which grew smaller in our sight. In most years, eventually we were high enough to see the valley enveloped by a blanket of smog. Ultimately, we crested Toad's Head and, standing tall, gave thanks before setting out on the much-faster descent. On his first hike, one of our sons came the summit, peered beyond it, and exclaimed, "Oh, no, Dad, more mountains!" Until that point Toad's Head had hidden the view of the peaks that lay beyond. I quickly assured him that there was no plan to go higher. Someday maybe.

Life lessons along the way, to be sure. And memories aplenty for Thanksgivings still to come.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Being Thankful

Many Americans take the opportunity in November to express the things they are thankful for. We asked some of our City Council Members to share their thoughts as we start making our Thanksgiving preparations.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Welcome Home - George Taylor Jr House

One of Provo's oldest structures is sporting a new look and will be welcoming a new family. It's not easy to renovate a 130 year-old house and keep the features that make it a historical treasure.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Provo City's Annual Charity Campaign

by Karen Tapahe

I am new to the Council office so this is my first experience with Provo City's annual charity campaign. Each employee has an opportunity to contribute to local charities through one-time donations or by donating from each paycheck during the year. My previous work with the Utah-Southern Idaho Chapter of the National MS Society and with Heritage Schools, Inc. showed me how much can be done when everyone chips in.

Another part of the campaign takes advantage of our competitive nature by awarding a trophy to the department which brings in the most contributions to the food bank. The winner is determined by calculating pounds of food per full time employee so small departments can compete with the bigger ones.

The Council office is the current home of the "Golden Can Award," earned last year by rounding up 287 pounds per employee. We are now working hard to defend our trophy and see if we can surpass last year's total.

To make things really interesting, our staff here in the Council office have challenged Council Members to see which group can bring in more donations. The losing "team" will have to do an outdoor service project so they can experience the "chill" of defeat and have another opportunity to give. It's all in fun, of course, and we are grateful to be able to help out our neighbors in need.

You are welcome to get involved and help this wonderful effort. Community Action even has a list of the most needed items on their website. Monetary donations are actually the most helpful as a donation of even $1 can provide 5 meals. If you don't already have food on hand to donate, please consider contributing cash. There is a way to do this online or you can bring it in to our office and add it to what we are donating.

Whether you donate a dollar or a can of food, every little bit helps! Let's show how much Provo cares by doing what we can. Our food drive ends December 9, 2014.

When bringing donations to our office, let us know if you want it to count for the Staff or the Council Members. I recommend supporting the staff, of course.

City Council Office
351 W Center St., 3rd Floor
Call me at 801-852-6122 if you have questions

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Summary of the November 11 City Council Meeting

In the Work Session

Presentation by Council Budget Committee:
The Budget Committee discussed user fees and gave their recommendations for recovering direct and indirect costs through user fees. The Committee will continue its work and will update the Council again at a later meeting.

2015 Council Priorities:
An update on establishing Council priorities for the 2015 calendar year. Council Members had a chance to give a rank to the list of suggestions. Stephen Hales was out of town for this meeting so his feedback will be gathered upon his return and the results will be discussed at the next Work Meeting.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Neighborhood Matching Grants

from Louise Jorgensen

With winter almost upon us this is a great time to have a neighborhood meeting and do some neighborhood visioning. Visioning the neighborhood allows residents to set some goals and carry out neighborhood projects to achieve those goals.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Great Year of Matching Grant Projects

At last week's Area Council meeting Louise Jorgensen highlighted some of the wonderful things accomplished through the Neighborhood Matching Grants Program.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Provo School District Bond Support

Earlier this year the City Council and the Mayor expressed their support of the Provo School District General Obligation Bond being voted on in this month's General Election. A joint resolution was passed to show this support and was was recorded in the Recorder's office on July 21, 2014.

Sunset View Elementary School

Simply put, the Council and the Mayor recognize the value of educated citizens and that the educational facilities must foster a positive learning environment. Because the school district's budget can't support large investments (like building facilities) without taking away from other current needs, a bond issue is being proposed to fund the construction and renovation of older schools. This was done after a careful study and community engagement process. More detailed information about the bond issue is available online.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Call 311 for City information and services where to go for Provo City information? 311 is Provo City's customer service department.

This three-digit phone number works anywhere in Provo - even on cell phones. Residents and visitors can call 311 for help with Provo's city services. Outside of Provo call 801.852.6000.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sidewalks in Rivergrove
Something's been missing over in the Rivergrove Neighborhood and you may not have noticed unless you tried going for a walk along 800 West. SIDEWALKS - Rivergrove needed sidewalks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Provo Rocks Day

Provo has gone wild this year with the "Signature Series #provorocks" t-shirts. Most of these popular shirts were given out at the Rooftop Concert Series and have been spotted worldwide as Provo residents traveled.

Council Members embraced the opportunity to rock their own Provo shirts at the October 21st meetings. Others in the meetings (Mayor, Council staff, City Recorder, CAO) joined in on the fun as well. You'll see from the photos that nearly every person wore a different shirt. Some dressed up their choices by wearing a jacket and a few even tried to imitate the characters on their shirts.

Summary of the October 21 City Council Meeting

In the Work Session

2015 City Council Priorities:
Priorities and goals for the 2015 calendar year are still being determined. Each Council Member will submit their suggestions before the next Work Meeting.

Villages at Celebration Development Agreement:
The Council reviewed a request to allow a change to the preliminary development layout for the Villages at Celebration (now named Broadview Shores) Development Agreement. The Council has asked that a neighborhood (Lakeview North) meeting be held to review the changes and allow for neighborhood feedback.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Maeser Neighborhood's Fresh New Look Neighborhood Matching Grant projects tackle problems at one or two houses or in one small area. Maeser Neighborhood recently completed a project that stretched over two blocks on 300 East and made improvements to many homes and properties.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Summary of the October 7 Meeting

In the Work Session

Independent Legal Counsel:
The Council adopted a Council Governance Policy that addressed confidentiality when working with staff attorneys and made provisions for the use of independent legal counsel when it is deemed necessary.

Boards and Commissions:
Council Members discussed City appointed and related boards and commissions and how the Council is interfacing with them. The Council would like to meet with several of these boards annually as well as develop an internal policy on expectations and interactions with the boards and commissions.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Light Up Downtown Provo

The Downtown Neighborhood (Central Business District) recently completed their neighborhood project and celebrated with a "Light Up Downtown Provo" event.The first part of the project involved more than 300 volunteers who did some cleanup work on the landscaping. That labor helped provide a "match" for the Neighborhood Matching Grant used to purchase the lights for the next part of the project.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Riverside Neighborhood "Miracle"

The Riverside Neighborhood is thrilled with the "miracle" that recently happened in their area. Undergrowth along one of the streets was a safety concern for pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists. Fortunately, the brush, overgrowth, undergrowth, trash, debris, dead foliage, etc. have now been cleared away.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Summary of the September 16 City Council Meeting

In the Work Session

BRT Update:
The Council heard an update from the Provo-Orem Bus Rapid Transit project team. Design work is nearly done and it is anticipated that the project will be done by early 2017. The City's forester is currently doing an inventory of the trees impacted by the project to see what can be moved or saved.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Independent Legal Representation for the Council

The Council Governance Committee is hosting a policy discussion lunch on Monday, September 15, at Los Hermanos (71 E. Center St.) from noon to 1:00 PM. Gary Garrett and Dave Sewell will be joined by Mayor Curtis for a discussion about the proposed committee recommendation concerning independent legal representation for the Council. As time permits, other policy issues or items from Tuesday’s Council meeting may be discussed.

Council Member Dave Sewell summed up his thoughts on the recommendation in his recent blog post:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Neighborhood Chair Appreciation Dinner

To show appreciation for the chairs and vice chairs of Provo's Neighborhood Program, the City Council held a dinner for these key volunteers and their families last night. The Peaks Ice Arena hosted the event and provided ice skating for all involved. Peaks recently underwent renovations and is now open with a full schedule of classes, events, and open skate times. (If you're new to ice skating, check out their new devices that resemble walkers and allow you some extra support as you make your way around the ice.)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Dave of Dixon

A big shout out to one of the City's neighborhood chairs, David Harding of Dixon Neighborhood, for coming in 12th in the state-wide Clear the Air Challenge! Kudos to him for rallying a small group of neighbors to participate. The Dixon Neighbors Team is currently ranked at 69 with 414 Non-Single Occupant Vehicle trips (carpooling, biking, walking, transit). 

The Municipal Council adopted a resolution on July 1 encouraging all of us to get involved. You can continue the challenge all year by competing for the number one spot as an individual or as a group. For more information, visit

Monday, July 28, 2014

Council Passes Mobile Food Vending Ordinance

The Council recently passed a Mobile Food Vending Ordinance to regulate mobile food businesses in Provo’s Downtown area.
The Council focused on the following areas for clarification before the ordinance was unanimously adopted, with Council Members Miller and Garrett excused:
  • Background checks
  • Clarification of “Restricted Area” for Food Trucks in Downtown Provo
  • Clarification regarding Public Parks
  • Exemptions for operating in the food truck area to be handled by Mayor’s office
  • Clarification regarding multiple food trucks operating in the same block face
  • Clarification regarding property owner’s designee as authorized representative in granting permission for food truck to use power or water
The full text of the ordinance can be read here.

The Council’s Work Meeting discussion can be viewed here.

You can learn more about Council’s deliberative process with this ordinance here.

If you have questions or comments for the Council, please either leave a comment on this article, or contact your Council Member directly here.

Council Passes Joaquin Neighborhood Plan

The Provo Council recently passed the Joaquin Neighborhood Master Plan. A public hearing regarding the plan and its presentation to Council was held several weeks ago. To read more about this presentation, see this post.

The Joaquin Master Plan is the first Neighborhood Master Plan to be adopted as an exhibit to Provo City’s General Plan as set forward in Vision 2030.

"Identify exceptional areas that would benefit from area specific master plans, where the city would conduct a detailed land-use analysis. The objective is for a plan for every neighborhood."--Vision 2030, Objective 2.1.1
You can watch the Council’s adoption of the plan, including public comment on Provo’s Channel 17 here.

Full text of the adoption, as well as the plan itself, can be found here.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Planning the Future for Joaquin Neighborhood

The Joaquin Neighborhood Master Plan was recently presented to the Council in preparation for final approval at the Council’s Meeting to be held July 15, 2014.

Provo City’s Vision 2030, a process for defining a future vision for the Provo community, provides the goal for each Provo neighborhood to have its own master plan. The Joaquin Neighborhood Master Plan is the first to complete this process.
Identify exceptional areas that would benefit from area specific master plans, where the city would conduct a detailed land-use analysis. The objective is for a plan for every neighborhood.
- Vision 2030, Objective 2.1.1
Provo City Community Development Assistant Director Bill Peperone presented the plan to Council, and described it in further detail.

“The Joaquin Neighborhood Master Plan is a planning document which will outline how the Joaquin Neighborhood should develop over time, and also how to move ourselves forward with that vision,” Peperone said. “The plan includes sections on land use, zoning, parks, open spaces, urban design, parking and historic preservation.” 

This neighborhood plan also provides details for the development of the Joaquin Neighborhood beyond what is included in Provo City’s General Plan. If the Council approves the plan, it will be added to the General Plan as Appendix H. 

The plan has been reviewed by the Provo City Planning Commission in two hearings, as well as presented in a public neighborhood meeting at the Provo City Library in May. 

A draft version of the plan has also been available on the Provo City Redevelopment Agency’s website on for public input and comment for nearly a year. Peperone said the latest draft of the plan reflects input gained from those public meetings, and from public comment given in this period. Peperone said the comments had been overwhelmingly positive.

What Comes Next?
“What comes next is a two-step process,” Peperone said. “The first step is for the Council to approve and adopt the plan, and the second step is for the planning staff to bring to the Council zoning changes and zoning text amendments as tools to allow for the completion of the plan.”

Neighborhood Feedback
The Council heard comment on the plan from neighborhood chair Leo Lines, who focused his remarks on how he hoped the plan would help improve neighborhood safety and ease traffic flow and mitigate traffic speed concerns.

Comment and Feedback
If you’d like to watch the presentation, you may do so on Provo’s Channel 17 here.

What are your thoughts about the Joaquin Neighborhood Master Plan? If you’d like to comment, you may contact Council Members directly here, or attend the presentation of this item at the Council’s Meeting on July 15, 2014.

Council Gives “Go Ahead” to South Downtown CDA

The Provo Council recently adopted a proposed South Downtown Community Development Project Area Plan by ordinance. (Full text can be read here).

This Community Development Area designates a zone of downtown Provo as eligible for Tax Increment Financing to promote development in the area.

Boundaries of the Area
The approximate boundaries of the Community Development Area are from 100 south to Provo Town Center Mall, with a western boundary at approximately 300 west, and as the boundary moves farther south, 500 west. An eastern boundary exists west of 100 east. The Provo Frontrunner station lies at the heart of the area.  
(See map below for details.)

Key Points from Public Hearing Presentation
The Council also held a public hearing prior to adoption of the ordinance. Several key points were discussed to clarify frequently asked questions about the proposed Community Development Area. Here are a few of the most prominent. You can watch full presentation on Provo’s Channel 17 here.

  • The adoption does not mean property taxes in the zone will increase
  • The adoption does not mean property owners can be forced to sell their property
  • Provo has created 5 other Community Development Project Areas in the past
  • In cases where Tax Increment Financing is proposed for development projects, each of the taxing entities in the area (Provo City, Utah County, Provo School District and Central Utah Water) must agree to a development deal.
  • Future development proposals will be expected to follow current general plan and zoning policies unless developers go through a public process to amend them with subsequent City Council support

For More Info

You can read more about “What is a Community Development Project Area?”, “What is Tax Increment Financing” at this post. More information is also available on here, and at Provo Redevelopment’s site here.

If you have comments or questions for Council Members, you may either leave them as a comment here, or reach your Council Member directly here

Joining Forces - Council Considers Interlocal Municipal Commission

The Provo Council recently discussed the advantages and disadvantages of joining several nearby cities in participating in a proposed interlocal municipal ethics commission to review complaints or issues which may arise in the city relative to the state’s Municipal Officers and Employees Ethics Act, which makes it illegal to:

1) Improperly disclose or use private, controlled, or protected information
2) Accept gifts, compensation or loans when prohibited
3) Requiring donation, payment, or service to government agency in exchange for approval when prohibited
4) Offering donation, payment, or service to government agency in exchange for approval when prohibited
5) Receiving compensation for assistance in transaction involving an agency - filing sworn statement
6) Disclosure of substantial interest in regulated business
7) Participation in transaction involving business as to which public officer or employee has interest - exceptions
8) Conflict of interests prohibited
9) inducing others to violate the act
The proposed interlocal municipal commission would be composed of three city attorneys chosen randomly by participating cities. Complaints would then be reviewed by the commission, which would submit findings and recommendations to the Municipal Council for appropriate remedy, which may include censure, reprimand, ethics training, or removal from office. 

As Provo City has not joined or formed its own commission, the city currently defers to the state established commission in matters of ethics concerning city officials. (Utah Code § 11-49-201). 

Some of the examples of advantages and disadvantages to an interlocal commission discussed by the Council, and drawn from background materials provided to Council Members are listed below. (For the full document, see here).

  • Control over the complaint process – the participating cities would be able to keep all ethics investigations “in-house” and control public access to any investigations
  • Distribution of cost among the participating cities
  • Review of complaints by a group of individuals (3 city attorneys) familiar with the applicable laws and procedures
  • Jurisdiction over alleged violations of City ethics ordinances
  • The state commission may choose to not address the complaint
  • Disadvantages
  • Cost (city staff time and resources) 
Other Questions discussed by Council Members
  • Composition of members of the commission
  • Difficulties regarding maintenance of the commission
  • frequency of use of the commission

What Comes Next?
The Council will continue their discussion of the proposed advantages and disadvantages of both the statewide ethics commission and the proposed interlocal municipal commission at a later Council meeting.

Do you have questions or comments about the possibility of Provo joining an interlocal municipal commission?

You may leave your comments or questions for the Council as a comment on this article, or reach them directly here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Council in the Grand Parade

If you missed the Council's appearance in the Freedom Festival Grand Parade, check out some photos of Council Members and their families here. The Council hopes you had a great July 4.

Council's Banner on Thanksgiving Point Institute's Trolley

Council Members and their families

New Provo Temple and Council

Council in Grand Parade

Before the Provo Library

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mobile Food Trucks in Downtown Provo

The Council recently discussed possible regulation permitting the use of Mobile Food Trucks in downtown Provo. 

The Council was presented a detailed analysis of possible Mobile Food Truck regulations in downtown Provo, including the results of an informal online survey which solicited input from residents about mobile food vending at a Council Work Meeting.

The Council also heard views of parties which will be directly affected by proposed regulation; the mobile food truck community and brick-and-mortar restaurant owners. Entrepreneur Christian Faulconer offered some thoughts on behalf of mobile food truck vendors, and Dean Judd, the owner of Guru’s restaurant in downtown Provo, also offered the perspective of the Downtown Restaurant Organization.

The Survey 
The informal survey was posted to the Council’s blog , and also shared by Provo Mayor John Curtis. Roughly 800 responses were gathered, with a general consensus of survey respondents indicating their desire to see more food truck vending in downtown Provo. To review the highlights presented at the Council’s work meeting, see here.

The Council also discussed the following issues and questions regarding Mobile Food Trucks: 
  • Time/Location Restrictions
  • Distance Requirements (Restaurants, other vendors, residential)
  • Parking requirements
  • City Parks requirements
  • Background check requirements
Several policy questions were also presented and discussed by the Council. These included: 
  • Do food trucks pose a threat to existing downtown businesses?
  • Is Provo downtown vibrant enough to support mobile food vending on top of existing brick and mortar restaurants?
  • Should Provo allow some “trial runs” to see if there is interest in food trucks in downtown Provo?
  • How does the City remain loyal to those who have invested in the downtown through brick and mortar while also offering a service that residents want?
The Council continued this item to July 15, 2014 Council Work Meeting and regular Council Meeting for further discussion and the presentation of additional findings related to this issue. 

If you’d like to watch the presentation and discussion, you may find the video recording here

You can review the text of the proposed ordinance here.

What are your thoughts about mobile food vending in downtown Provo?

You can share your comments with the Council by either commenting on this post, or by directly reaching out to Council Members here

Clear the Air - Together

The Provo Council recently issued a joint resolution with the Provo City Mayor supporting a Clear the Air Challenge initiative sponsored by Utah’s Division of Air Quality and its partners in UDOT and other agencies.

The Clear the Air Challenge, which runs from July 1 to 31, encourages Utah residents find alternative means of transit for trips to and from school, shopping, and work by utilizing public transit, walking, and biking. The goal of the Clear the Air Challenge is to assist Utahns to drive less, drive smarter, to reduce traffic congestion, conserve energy, and improve air quality.
Residents wishing to participate are encouraged to minimize vehicle use by chaining together essential trips, or carpooling when necessary. This will minimize CO2 emissions from vehicles which contribute to pollution.

Why it’s important? 
The summer smog season is nearly upon us, and the residents may see the effects of pollution and its impacts on the environment, health, public welfare, and safety of those living in this community. The Clear the Air Challenge also encourages wise energy use, and reductions of traffic congestion.

If you’d like to read the full text of the resolution, please see here

To find out more about the Clear the Air Challenge, or to join, visit their website here.

Do your lungs a favor, and sign up now. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Council Discusses South Downtown CDA

The Provo Council recently discussed a proposed South Downtown Community Development Project Area in anticipation of a public hearing at the Council Meeting on July 1, 2014. The designation of this zone will help promote further development in the area, which has seen increased developer interest due to the presence of the Utah Transit Authority Frontrunner Station at the heart of the proposed zone.

What are the goals for the proposed CDA?

Provo City Redevelopment Director Paul Glauser said there are key points that the Provo Redevelopment agency would like to accomplish in the proposed plan for the South Downtown Community Development Area. These points are:

• Enhance employment

• Provide Citizens with better access to goods and services

• Create a better tax base

• Provide residents with better housing opportunities

• Reinforce the Provo downtown as the center of Utah County

• Improve the general standards and character of the area

• Promote the building of improved building facades (create an urban feel)

• Helping achieve the city’s parking vision, including the increased use of putoff street parking areas and parking structures for higher density development parking

• Making streets more pedestrian friendly

• Provide for increased open spaces to complement increased densities

• Provide for sustainable development both economically and environmentally

• Provide for redevelopment using tax increment financing

What is a Community Development Project Area? 

A Community Development Project Area is the designation of a zone which will make it eligible for tax increment financing, which allows for future development of an area. This designation is a tool which will allow the city to fulfill its own general plan and bring about its desired zoning and development plans. Interest in future development in the South Downtown area is anticipated especially regarding transit-oriented development around the new Frontrunner station and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system planned for University Avenue.

Once a Community Development Project area is designated, nothing will change until or unless the affected taxing entities (Provo City, Utah County, Provo School District and Central Utah Water) agree to go forward with new development deals.

What is Tax Increment Financing?

Tax Increment Financing allows property taxes from redevelopment projects and their gains in taxes to subsidize current improvements which are projected to create the conditions for those gains. Tax increment financing does not mean that property taxes for current property owners will be increased. For more information about tax increment financing, see this

Wikipedia article. More information about tax increment financing as a tool of economic development in Utah can be found in the Utah State Code Title 17C here.

What are the exact boundaries of the proposed zone?

(See map below)

You can review the plan and documents for the proposed area here.

If you have questions or comments about the proposed zone, you may attend the public hearing at the Council Meeting on July 1, 2014, or reach out to your council member directly here. Comments and questions may also be directed to Provo City Redevelopment here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Council Passes 2014-2015 Budget

The Provo Council passed a $195.2 million budget for the fiscal year 2014-2015 at a recent Council Meeting. The budget includes funding for a few capital improvement projects which will upgrade systems which provide water and waste water to the city.

A budget advisory committee, chaired by Council Members Kim Santiago and Gary Winterton and including members of the Provo community, assisted the Council in assessing the budget presented by Provo City Mayor John Curtis. After meetings and discussions, Committee Member Dave Armond, speaking on behalf of the committee, recommended the Council approve the budget.

The Council also discussed budget issues at a special work meeting,which you may view here.

If you’d like to read more about the Council’s consideration of the budget, see here.

You can review the budget for yourself here.

Provo's Daily Herald also has a detailed story about the approval of the budget, which you can read here.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Support for Provo School District Bond

The Provo Council recently issued a joint resolution with Provo Mayor John Curtis expressing support for the Provo School District general obligation bond.

You can read the text of the resolution here.

The $108 million bond proposal will be put before residents this November, and will address critical rebuilding projects for Provo High School and Edgemont, Rock Canyon, Provost, and Sunset elementary schools.

If you'd like more information about the bond, you can visit the district's site here.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Un-fogging the Future

Council adopts legislative intent statements.

At a recent Council Meeting, the Provo Council passed Legislative Intent Statements for the fiscal year 2015 budget. These legislative intent statements outline priorities which the Council, mayor and budget committee discussed in recent budget meetings.

You can see the Council’s most recent budget meeting here.

Intent statements 7, 8 and 9 were drafted as specific recommendations from the Council’s Budget Committee, which you may read about here and here.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Times of Refreshing at the Provo Power Campus

The Provo Council recently received a report regarding the current state of the Provo Power Campus, including possible options for its eventual replacement.  The campus currently does not meet seismic standards, and is deteriorating due to its age and construction. The buildings have issues with plumbing, settling and cracking in the walls and foundation, and do not meet many building code stipulations.

Scott Bunker from Provo’s Department of Energy said officials have considered replacement for the campus under several administrations, but that the window of opportunity has never been quite right.  
The power plant was constructed in 1959, and the administration building in 1950. In 1963, the city upgraded the facilities, and since 1965 added additional structures as needed.   

Originally, the facility was designed to serve Provo’s 18,000 residents. Today the city has grown to just over 115,000. Provo officials believe now is the time to address upgrading the facility with a 25 to 30 year horizon to account for both current demand and future growth.

“The campus requires about $50,000 to be spent yearly for maintenance and upgrades, just trying to keep up with the problems we already have,” Bunker said. There are also issues with fitting diesel service vehicles inside the facilities on campus during winter months to prevent wear and keep the vehicles in service. “Reliability is our most important feature,” Bunker said. “We want to be the most reliable municipal utility in the country, and we feel that in order to do that, we need facilities that we can respond from properly.”

The twin smoke stacks of the power plant which have been an iconic part of Provo’s skyline are also under consideration for demolition due to safety concerns as they deteriorate. The stacks are currently used for the communications antennae which they support, and not for regular power generation.  Bunker said if they are demolished, it is expected new steel structures will be erected which will meet the need for communications equipment.

Several options for updating the campus were presented to the Council, and will continue to be studied as possibilities going forward.  The options range in cost from $24 to $27 million, with plans varying as to whether or not to entirely reconstruct the campus, or to simply renovate buildings and update equipment to preserve the historicity of the site.

It is expected that several public meetings and open houses will be held to receive public input and to determine the best course forward at the Provo Power Campus.

If you'd like to read more about the Provo Power Campus, see this article in the Daily Herald.

What are your thoughts and feedback about the challenges facing the city regarding the Provo Power Campus?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Council Considering Proposed 2015 Budget

The Council recently heard a presentation from the Council Budget Committee regarding the Provo City Administration’s proposed 2015 budget.

The Council Budget Committee is an advisory body chaired by Council Member Kim Santiago which informs the Council on budget issues. (For more about the members of the Committee, see this post on the Council’s blog.)

Larry Summers, a professor of public finance at BYU and committee member, acted as spokesperson.

Summers offered the views of the Committee on the issues:
·         Sales tax revenues
·         Property taxes and valuation
·         Provo residents' economic standing
·         Utility rates
·         Provo City General Fund
·         Capital Improvements
·         Questions and recommendations for the Council

The Council also discussed these and other items yesterday at a Council budget work meeting, which you can watch here.

The Council held a public hearing on an ordinance adopting the Administration’s proposed budget for 2015 at Council Meeting on June 3, 2014. Another public hearing discussing these issues will be held at the Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 17, 2014.