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.

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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Tuesday, May 2, 2017