Thursday, August 10, 2017

Summary of the August 8 Meetings

In the Work Session

Parking Administration
Matthew Taylor, Provo's new Parking Administrator gave a presentation on the interim direction and priorities of the Provo Parking Administration. He will begin with the Provo Strategic Park Plan draft that was developed by consultants. Taylor explained that some of the challenges are related to perception and education. Wayfinding signage would help people find available parking that may not be easy to see. A Park Provo Facebook page has been created to share information in this ongoing discussion.

Economic Development - Retail
Council heard another in a series of presentations from the Economic Development Department. The focus of this one was retail incentives and retaining business. Provo has a "toolbox" of what it can do to incentivize businesses to relocate here. One of those is tax increment financing (TIF). Here is a video on how that works. The issue of businesses leaving Provo was also addressed. They often relocated due to limited land and building inventory, need for larger facility, workforce, and location/proximity. Council plans to meet with Economic Development on August 17 for an extra work session focused on retail.

Development Approval Process
Council's Development Approval Process Review (DAPR) Committee has been working to streamline the process for land-use applications that are submitted to Provo City. Under the current guidelines, it can take at least five weeks for an application to go from the Planning Commission meeting to a Council meeting. DAPR presented their recommendation on changes to noticing land use items. This was approved and staff will work on making the changes to the process Watch for more details once this process is in place.

Council-School Board Joint Meeting, August 10, 2017

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

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Provo City Council Work Meeting, August 8, 2017

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

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.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Provo City Council Work Meeting, June 20, 2017

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

Monday, June 12, 2017

Summary of the June 6 Meetings

In the Work Session

Economic Development
Council asked the Economic Development office to share information about what they do. Dixon Holmes, Deputy Mayor of Economic Development explained that each person on their small staff has a particular focus. Chad Thomas is the downtown specialist, working with the various businesses in Provo's downtown area. Allison Lew focuses on entrepreneurs and minority/underserved populations, and has established a group that holds events for women in business. Cameron Christensen has a citywide economic development focus. The Economic Development office works with Provo businesses to facilitate their needs and help them locate resources. They work with businesses that are expanding or relocating, but don't do a lot of outside recruitment because there aren't many places to put them.

Joint Meeting with Airport Board
The Airport Board met with the Council and discussed several items related to airport operations and development. The terminal layout portion of the airport master plan is 90% done. The Provo Airport is looking at several on-site development options. Looking ahead, the board has planned for an increase in customers and acknowledged the need for more space. It is expected that sometime in the future the airport will have over 100,000 passengers each year, which will bring in new types of funding from the federal government.This is difficult because of the ramp and the limited parking lot space for development. Noting the limited space, the board is looking for the best way to prepare for an increase usage of the Provo Airport. The Airport Board has expressed a need for a new taxi lane to accommodate growth. The current taxi lane is being redone this summer so that they can qualify for FAA funding of the new taxi lane.

Duncan Aviation is moving ahead with their expansion. They expect as Duncan Aviation continues to grow many new jobs will be produced. Because Duncan Aviation accounts for over fifty percent of operations in Provo, and possibly fifty percent of many other small airports in Utah, funding is a huge factor. All FAA funding is based on operations at all of the airports.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

How the Budget Works

The process for reviewing and approving the Provo City budget is outlined by Utah State Code. This infographic gives a visual outline of how this process works.

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Comment below (requires Google+ account), on our Facebook page, through our online comment form, or by contacting Council Members directly. Comments/input on items appearing on an upcoming meeting agenda will be compiled and provided to Council Members the day before the meeting. **Note - your comments will be part of the public record.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Summary of the May 16 Meetings

In the Work Session

City Center and Public Safety Building
Provo City has been exploring the feasibility of a new city center and public safety facility. The current City Center building was dedicated in 1972 and has become increasingly inadequate as the home of city services due to structural and systems problems and the lack of necessary space. A firm was hired to explore several options and those options were presented to Council. Administration will continue with the review and will return with more information and a discussion on how the Council would like to proceed.

Joint Meeting with Utah County Commission
Council routinely holds joint meetings with various boards and commissions, Orem City Council, and the Provo Board of Education. This was the first joint meeting held with the Utah County Commission, with the anticipation of meeting annually to become better acquainted and discuss mutual items of interest. Council members and Commissioners took time to strengthen their relationships, share goals and priorities, and find common ground in those goals. Council shared its priorities and Mayor Curtis followed with a list that included golf course redevelopment and the airport. County Commissioners listed their priorities as economic development, agriculture, addressing domestic violence, tackling intergenerational poverty, renovation of the historic courthouse, and the low-income housing crisis.

One area the Commission hoped to address together was the parking issue downtown. They felt an impact to the convention center due to a perceived lack of parking. They were encouraged by Provo City's decision to hire a parking coordinator. Council expressed their support in finding a common solution to the parking issue that would make the convention center a better economic engine. Commissioner Ivie gave a detailed explanation of the County's decision to discontinue diesel emissions testing and Council Member Harding gave a recap of the presentation on homelessness from the May 2 work session. Council members expressed their hope that this meeting would build good faith between the two entities and look forward to meeting jointly again in the future.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Summary of the May 2 Meetings

In the Work Session

Homelessness in Provo
Council members expressed interest in understanding why homelessness is on the rise and what that looks like in our community. Constituents reached out to Council members via social media, Open City Hall, and email regarding the recently passed camping ban. Kim Santiago arranged for Council to hear presentations from several in the community who regularly work with individuals who are homeless, including Robert Vernon of the Provo Housing Authority, Brent Crane of the Food and Care Coalition, and Brian Butler of Wasatch Mental Health.

Provo has about 20% of the homeless population in Utah County, but is host to roughly 75% of the housing (emergency shelter, transitional housing, rapid re-housing, permanent supportive housing, etc.) in the County. Housing affordability is a factor for those with housing vouchers due to apartment rents being higher than what the average renter can afford. Council has invited the presenters to give additional information on affordable housing at the June 20 work meeting.

Westside Planning Committee Recommendations
Members of the Westside Planning Committee began meeting in September 2016 to research and discuss issues pertaining to the future of west Provo. Over the course of those meetings, the Committee identified seven policy areas. Planning Commission reviewed the recommendations on March 22, 2017. Council adopted them as Westside Development Policies to guide future land use planning in the southwest Provo neighborhoods and has asked Community Development to make recommendations as to how to incorporate them into the General Plan.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Annual Budget Timeline

The timeline for approving Provo City's budget is set by Utah State Code.

  • The Mayor presents the proposed budget to the City Council at their first meeting in May. (This year it was the May 2 meeting).
  • Council votes to tentatively adopt the proposed budget. This vote will occur at the May 16 meeting.
  • All municipal final budgets must be adopted before June 22, or, in the case of a property tax increase, before August 17. The Council's vote on adopting the budget will happen at the June 20 Council Meeting this year.
  • The tentative (proposed) budget is available to the public at least 10 days before the adoption of the final budget. You can view the proposed budget in person at the office of the City Recorder. It is also available online. Budgets from recent years are also available on the Finance Department's website.
  • A public hearing must be held before adopting the budget. The dates for the hearings will be formally set when the budget is tentatively adopted on May 16. According to Utah State Code, "All interested persons in attendance shall be given an opportunity to be heard, for or against, the estimates of revenue and expenditures or any item thereof in the tentative budget of any fund." UPDATE - public hearings will be held at the June 6 and June 20 regular Council meetings.
  • If a property tax increase was included in the proposed budget this year and Council decides to move forward with the increase, a Truth in Taxation hearing would be required. The date for the hearing is set by Utah County and would most likely be held in August.
In between the Mayor presenting the budget and the Council adopting the final budget there are usually some extra Work Meetings where Council Members examine the budget in greater detail, ask questions of department directors, and hear presentations and analysis from Council staff. Watch the Council's Facebook page for updates.

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Comment below (requires Google+ account), on our Facebook page, through our online comment form, or by contacting Council Members directly. Comments/input on items appearing on an upcoming meeting agenda will be compiled and provided to Council Members the day before the meeting. **Note - your comments will be part of the public record.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Provo City Council Work Meeting, May 2, 2017

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

Friday, April 28, 2017

Neighborhood Meeting Alerts

Provo City participates in an alert program administered by Utah County. Everbridge gives citizens an opportunity to receive alerts regarding emergencies, road closures, public meetings, etc. Users choose which alerts to receive and how to receive them (phone call, text message, email). We have now added the ability to receive alerts for neighborhood meetings.

To receive alerts, create an Everbridge account at You will be able to enter your contact information for these alerts and choose which alerts to receive. In the list of "My Alert Subscriptions," click on the "+" next to "Provo" to expand the list and see which types of alerts are available. Clicking the "+" next to each neighborhood area group will expand the list so you can see which neighborhoods are in each of those areas. Make sure you save your selections before exiting.

The Council office will send text alerts (text messages, emails) the week of a scheduled neighborhood meeting. Because of the way the system is configured, alerts will go out to the entire area (i.e., Central Area Neighborhoods).

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Comment below (requires Google+ account), on our Facebook page, through our online comment form, or by contacting Council Members directly. Comments/input on items appearing on an upcoming meeting agenda will be compiled and provided to Council Members the day before the meeting. **Note - your comments will be part of the public record.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Summary of the April 18 Meetings

In the Work Session

Peaks Ice Arena
After Utah County sent a letter to Provo City indicating its intention to terminate the contract regarding the ice sheet, Council asked for more information on ice sheet operation and performance. Jack Drzayich, Peaks Arena Manager, explained that 63% of private ice rentals, 71% of turf rentals, and 78% of group reservations or birthday parties were from non-Provo residents. Non-Provo residents make up 80% of the polar bears hockey, 56% of the learn to skate, and 67% of the start smart/mini mites programs. Of those who are frequent users of the facility, only 12% of ice sheet users and 7% of turf users are from Provo. Utah County and Provo City equally split the subsidy for the ice sheet. The current subsidy is $337,000 (Provo's portion is $168,500). In comparison, the Kearns Olympic Oval has a $1.5 million subsidy. No decision has been made by the Mayor or Council at this time. Provo City has until May 22 to respond to the County's letter.

Zoning Compliance
Council's Zoning Committee previously presented their recommendations at a work session. The Committee then met with members of Utah Central Association of Realtors and the Utah Apartment Association to get additional feedback. The final recommendations, consolidated into seven goals with legislative and administrative action steps, were presented to Council as the Zoning Compliance and Strategic Plan. Council members voted unanimously to adopt the plan as the intent of the Council regarding zoning compliance and strategic planning.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Provo City Council Work Meeting, April 18, 2017

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

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Summary of the April 11 Meetings

In the Work Session

Property Acquisition for Provo River Trail
Since the passage of the Recreation Arts and Parks tax, Provo City Parks and Recreation has been working to improve the Provo River Trail. The trail segment with the most public concern involves the former KOA Campground and Lamplighter Trailer Park, which is fenced on both sides of the narrow trail alignment. When the property owners were approached about negotiating an improved trail route through their property, they indicated they were putting the property on the market.

Acquisition of this property would provide a continuous 14 foot wide enhanced and relocated alignment of the trail adjacent to the river, effectively eliminating the current safety, accessibility and use issues. This property, consisting of over four acres, would provide additional space for other west side neighborhood park amenities. The size and topography of this property will be ideal in protecting frontage along the Provo River and will allow City Storm Water Division access for potential flood control. Council heard a presentation at the work session and voted unanimously at the regular meeting to appropriate the funds to purchase the property.

Airport Master Plan
The FAA requires an updated Airport Master Plan and the Provo Airport is currently in the pre-planning process. Some of the focus issues are a new passenger terminal area, immediate aircraft hangar development, primary runway enhancements, crosswind runway justification, and on/off-airport land use considerations. It is anticipated that the plan will be submitted to the FAA for review in 2019.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Summary of the March 21 Meetings

In the Work Session

Vote by Mail
Every year, the City’s Finance Department presents the Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Report, which gives Council members and citizens a preview of proposed projects that will take place around Provo over the next five years, based on available funding. Here are a few examples of upcoming projects from this year’s CIP Report that already have designated funding available:
  • Bike lanes on Bulldog Boulevard
  • New street and security lights in some areas of town
  • Improvements to a long stretch of the Provo River Parkway Trail
  • A new water line on Stadium Avenue to meet the water demand
Council members asked clarifying questions about various projects throughout the presentation. If you’re curious about what other projects are in the report, click here to access the document.

Water Division Presentation
The Public Works Director continued a presentation on the Water Division that he began at the last work meeting on March 7th. The Council members learned about Provo’s water sources and storage as they currently stand. In addition, they learned of future opportunities that could help ensure an adequate water supply in the future. These presentations on the Water Division will continue over the next several work meetings.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Provo City Council Work Meeting, March 21, 2017

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

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Summary of the March 7 Meetings

In the Work Session

Vote by Mail
Over the past several years there has been growing interest in moving from voting at polling locations on Election Day to a vote-by-mail (VBM) election. In 2015, several cities in Utah County chose the VBM option and each of them nearly doubled their voter turnout. Although the costs were higher, the cost-per-vote was less than in previous years. In 2016, 21 out of 29 counties in Utah administered a VBM election. Utah County has opted to administer a VBM election in 2017 for any city that contracts with them. They can only administer one type of election, so the electronic voting machines will not be available.

Provo City's administration recommends contracting with Utah County for a VBM election. This option would still include one polling location where voting could be done in person. Council members asked for more input before they make a decision at the March 21 Council meeting. Provo citizens are asked to give their opinion on Open City Hall as to how they would like to cast their vote in 2017.

Water Division Presentation
Provo City's Water Division is doing a series of presentations at Council work sessions to provide information requested by the Council and the Budget Committee. The goal is to gain more insight to prepare for the upcoming budget season. The presentation at this meeting began by reviewing the Executive Summary portion of the 2010 Water System Master Plan.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Summary of the February 21 Meetings

In the Work Session

Off-Street Parking Standards
The Provo City Community Development Department presented their request to amend sections of the City Code regarding parking ratios for Baching Singles, ITOD, General Downtown, and Downtown Core Zones. There have been a number of complaints from residents and businesses on streets near developments with reduced parking ratios. Council members wanted to give developers and Provo residents ample opportunity to comment and have decided to continue the discussion at the March 7 work session and open it to public hearings at the March 7 and March 21 Council meetings.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Provo City Council Work Meeting, February 21, 2017

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Summary of the February 7 Meetings

In the Work Session

Franklin and Franklin South Neighborhoods
A group of three MPA students from Brigham Young University have been working on a project in the Franklin and Franklin South Neighborhoods. They developed an independent action plan to revitalize the neighborhoods and presented this information to he Economic Development Department as well as the City Council. Their recommendations included conducting a comprehensive housing study of the area, encouraging more mixed use developments while maintaining historic ideas and feels, providing amenities that attract millennials, and reevaluating the residential conservation zones to attract businesses that will influence economic development for the area.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Provo City Council Work Meeting, February 7, 2017

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

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Council Goals for 2017

Provo High Principal Karen Brown speaking at State of the City
Council members recently joined community leaders and others for Mayor Curtis' final State of the City address. Hosted by Provo High School, they received a warm welcome from the enthusiastic students and Principal Karen Brown. Included in the Mayor's goals for 2017 was good governance. He mentioned a budget focused on value and results for the taxpayers, neighborhood plans, zoning compliance, and an increase in citizen engagement.

We appreciate the shout-out from Mayor Curtis on our work to improve zoning compliance in Provo. The Council voted to create a Zoning Compliance Committee and continues to move forward with recommendations on improving the land use (development) application process.

Great progress has been made on the priorities set one year ago and Council members decided to continue on with the same group of priorities for 2017. While none of these will ever truly be "done," it is hoped that room can be made for other items that need the Council's attention in the future. Dave Harding explained, "Some of these desired outcomes will take years to achieve, but we have been able to set a course."

Dave Sewell commented on the work done regarding the development application process, "We made a lot of progress but there's still a lot to do around implementation."

Each area of priority has most of the goals or outcomes being addressed in some way. Kim Santiago also pointed out that many accomplishments were made that were outside of the specific desired outcomes listed when the priorities were set.

The Council will continue to pursue its nine priorities identified last year and looks forward to ongoing progress in each area.

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Comment below (requires Google+ account), on our Facebook page, through our online comment form, or by contacting Council Members directly. Comments/input on items appearing on an upcoming meeting agenda will be compiled and provided to Council Members the day before the meeting. **Note - your comments will be part of the public record.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Louise Jorgensen

January 2017 marked the beginning of a new calendar year, but also the end of an era in the City Council office as well as Provo City's Neighborhood Program. Louise Jorgensen retired from her work as the Council's Executive Office Assistant and was honored at the January 4 Council meeting.

Her job title doesn’t begin to describe all that she did for Council members, staff, and Provo’s Neighborhood Program. In her nine years here Louise became the heart and backbone of the Council Office. Nearly every responsibility in the office had been part of her job at one time or another and she had been a key part of welcoming each new employee and helping them to get their bearings. We have a small staff so she has had a huge impact on the entire team.

Council members relied on Louise for support. She was often the first to greet visitors or to help those who called in with questions. Even the longest of meeting days was so much better when it started with a cheerful greeting from Louise when you walked in the door.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Summary of the January 17 Meetings

In the Work Session

Zoning Compliance Committee
Zoning compliance continues to be a top priority and Council established a committee with Council members Dave Knecht, George Stewart, and Kim Santiago as members. Santiago will serve as the committee's chair. Their mission is to review recommendations from citizens and the Administration pertaining to zoning enforcement and compliance, and to advise the Council on how to move forward with those recommendations.

Implied Motions
One of the amendments to the Council Policies and Procedures Handbook that was approved refers to an implied motion. During Council meetings (not work meetings), after any presentations and public comment on an agenda item, the Council Chair will declare, by rule, an implied motion to affirmatively pass the measure under consideration. This can be an efficient way to provide a clear starting point for debate. The Council may vote to amend the motion as often as necessary during debate before voting on whether or not to pass the measure.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Provo City Council Work Meeting, January 17, 2017

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Summary of the January 3 Meetings

In the Work Session

Zoning Compliance
Hannah Petersen, Provost Neighborhood Vice Chair, presented statistics regarding zoning violations in her neighborhood as well as some recommendations for improving zoning compliance in Provo. Community Development also presented some potential options for improving zoning compliance. Further discussion and formation of a committee to address the issue will take place at the January 17 work meeting.

Compensation for Elected Officials
Council approved a proposal to create a process for independent review and recommendation of Council compensation by including it in the existing mayoral compensation review process, with the same structure and similar timing as already established. Staff will prepare an ordinance to be considered at the next Council meeting, with the goal of appointing the Elected Officials Compensation Commission in February 2017, work completed by end of April 2017, and any compensation changes to take effect in January 2018.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Provo City Council Work Meeting, January 3, 2017

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