SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — In her State of the City Address, Mayor Erin Mendenhall outlined her priorities and plans for Salt Lake City in 2023.
One of her most notable announcements is a historic $100 million fundraising initiative for the Ballpark neighborhood led by the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation, the city, Zions Bank and Intermountain Health.
Salt Lake’s Ballpark Station Area Plan, approved by the city council in October 2022, includes reconfiguring the Ballpark TRAX station and creating a “heart of the neighborhood” by repurposing underutilized properties and parking lots.
Other key remarks from Mendenhall during the address are:
Salt Lake City leaders pledged to conduct a thorough review of the city government’s water usage, the mayor said. A strategy the mayor proposed is to send a price signal through the city’s water rate structures. Along with that, Mendenhall recommends a temporary drought surcharge to be implemented on the biggest water consumers in the city to encourage further water usage reductions.
Other than that, Mendenhall urges the council to consider sending some water treated at Salt Lake City’s Water Reclamation Facility to go toward the Great Salt Lake. The mayor said she will personally authorize the city’s Public Utilities Department to file the necessary water rights documentation with the state government that will allow an annual contribution of nearly $13 billion gallons of water to go from Salt Lake City to the Lake.
Mendenhall announced earlier this month that the city is joining 45 other cities in becoming a member of the Vision Zero Network, a nationwide effort to eliminate all traffic-related fatalities and injuries. The mayor said there were 26 roadway deaths in Salt Lake City last year.
The Safe Streets Task Force the city put together last year will be adopted into the Vision Zero Task Force, which aims to identify traffic violence hot spots and recommend corrective actions.
The city will also be installing more left turn protections that accounted for 19 percent of auto-pedestrian crashes last year. Additionally, legal right turns at city intersections will be reduced.
Salt Lake City is investing up to $10 million in building homes for 1,500 families in the city using President Joe Biden’s federal Rescue Plan funds. Among those units, 1,000 of them are affordable housing and the rest will be resident-owned homes.
The Salt Lake City Council has approved the mayor’s plan to allocate $6 million to three projects that will create 400 permanent supportive housing units that are set to open this spring.