September 18, 2019

Salt Lake City Council OKs funding for several west-side projects

The Fisher Mansion Carriage House renovation was among the favorite projects to receive funding during the city's annual Capital Improvement Program process in 2019.   Photo by Turner Bitton|||| The Fisher Mansion Carriage House renovation was among the favorite projects to receive funding during the city's annual Capital Improvement Program process in 2019. Photo by Turner Bitton|||| ||||

By Turner Bitton

The Salt Lake City Council finalized the 2019-2020 Capital Improvement Plan on August 27. The annual capital improvement program is a citizen-led process that allows neighborhood groups, community councils, neighborhood business groups, and nonprofit organizations to request funding from the city council – through the Mayor’s office - to improve infrastructure and facilities throughout the city.

After a public application process, members of the Community Development & Capital Improvement Programs Advisory Board (CDCIP) review applications and provide recommendations to the city council. The Mayor’s Office also provides recommendations to the city council. The council then reviews this information and determines which projects to fund with the resources available. During the process, the council can choose to fund projects from a variety of sources as diverse as legal settlements, impact fees, general funds, or Funding Our Future funds (which come from a sales tax increase and Streets Reconstruction Bond – both approved in 2018).

This year, several projects of note for west side communities were funded. Below is a list of a few highlights. A complete list of funded projects is available at https://stories.opengov.com/saltlakecity/published/6Cb91Os3h.

Jordan River

The City Council invested heavily in the health and future of the Jordan River this year. Over $1.3 million was allocated to redevelop the Fisher Mansion Carriage House into a community center focused on the environment and natural resources of the Jordan River – including kayaking. The project also calls for adding office space for the Parks & Public Lands Division. This project is intended to be a central point for new recreational activities in the area tied to future expansions of the GREENbike program, the Folsom Corridor Trail, and a nearby boat ramp that was also funded in the process.

Complimentary to the renovation of the Fisher Mansion Carriage House, the city also provided over $217,000 in funding for a new access point to the Jordan River at North Temple. According to the description of the proposal, it will “create an easy‐to‐use boat ramp access for canoes, kayaks and similar watercraft on the Jordan River, along with water trailhead kiosk signage, street signage, and landscaping improvements.”

In addition, the City Council approved $500,000 in funding to begin the process of restoring the area known as the Three Creeks Confluence – located on 1300 South 900 West in Glendale. This initial investment allows for the purchase of property to support the long-term goal of creating a community center with nature programming to serve the Glendale neighborhood.

Lastly, funding was approved for several maintenance projects including maintenance of bridges that cross the Jordan River, such as at 400 South and 650 North.

9-Line Community Orchard

A new community orchard is coming to the 9-Line Trail at 1100 West with an allocation of over $195,000 from the council. The proposal states that the project “will include grading, site and soil preparation, installation of drip irrigation for improved watering efficiency, planting of fruit trees, general site landscaping and park amenities.” According to documents provided through the proposal, the orchard will be developed on land that has been vacant for roughly 15 years. There are currently no community orchards in the area and this project aligns with goals outlined in the Westside Master Plan that call for new urban agricultural and orchards in west side communities.

Jordan Park 

Jordan Park stands to benefit from over $431,000 in funding for new signage and significant improvements to infrastructure to increase the capacity to host special events. Documents provided by Salt Lake City indicate that the project will “create another large self‐contained event site on the west side, providing more opportunities for events and their organizers.”

Streets and Infrastructure

In keeping with the Funding Our Future initiative and other infrastructure priorities, the council also included over $3,341,000 in funding for the city’s transportation and streets. Projects include additional funding for the complete streets policy, remedying uneven pavement near railway crossings, additional and redesigned bus stops, and other transportation improvements.

Sorenson Center

The Sorenson Multicultural Center will receive a new connecting corridor to connect it to the Sorenson Unity Center. This improvement represents another investment in the Sorenson campus that provides recreational and social connections for many residents. A new corridor will strengthen the connection between facilities.

Of course, not every project can be funded, and two west side projects of note were not funded during this year’s process. A project to make improvements to the Fife Wetlands was not funded. The project would have replaced infrastructure and made repairs at the wetlands.

A proposed redesign of the Wingpointe Levee was also not funded. The project is tied to other considerations including the construction of the airport and will likely be considered in the future as the airport project advances.

Overall, the 2019-2020 represents a significant investment in west side communities. The 2020-2021 Capital Improvement Program is underway. Residents are encouraged to participate in the process with their community council, nonprofit organizations, or other groups. Learn more at https://stories.opengov.com/saltlakecity/published/6Cb91Os3h.