|Sandy City Newsletter from Councilman Chris McCandless|
Please contact me with any questions: 801-597-4575
|As always, I am committed to keeping you informed. Check out my Sandy City Council Meeting
Summaries below for the month of April. There are hyperlinks above for your convience.
Please feel free to contact me with comments or concerns.Thank you for your involvement-
The most exciting item we approved this week was the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding requests. As mentioned in my last message, these federal funds are spent based on the federal guidelines. The majority of the CDBG money goes to pay down the debt on the Sandy Senior Center located on 1300 East and 9400 South. By the way, this is our last payment, which next year will free up $235,229 CDBG dollars.
The second allotment of funds went to housing rehabilitation projects. In fact, all of the funds in this category went to an organization named ASSIST and were used for emergency home repair. These funds will help disadvantage Sandy residents including the elderly who have significant housing repair issues such as leaking roof, non-functional furnaces, etc.
The last segment of the funds went to various charitable organizations such as: the Road Home overflow shelter, South Valley Sanctuary, YWCA, Big Brothers and Sisters Organization, the Family Support Center and other housing outreach programs. The total amount of CDBG funds spent on helping our residents this year is $367,074.
The next item on the agenda was to review the Fire Marshall’s recommendations for changes to a map that restricts fireworks from being used in specific hazardous areas. He recommended a couple of additions to the map in areas of steep slopes and near canyons. If the City Council adopts the recommendations, it will make it illegal in those areas to set off fireworks during the times of the year when they are permitted.
In another segment of the meeting, we heard more presentations from non-profit organizations that we traditionally budget funding to help them help us. One of the organizations making a presentation to the City council was the South Valley Boys and Girls Clubs. This year they focused their presentation on reporting about the new After School Programs which, have been a resounding success, not only in the number of kids attending (with a large waiting list) but in the way they are helping them achieve a better level of education, physical fitness, mental well-being and learning to be better citizens and students. A couple of numbers of services (County wide) that they provide are: 76,467 outreach programs; 133 homeless youth served; 217, 937 healthy meals served, internet safety training and over 20,523 hours of service towards 836 community projects. Wow.
|April 14, 2015
Once again, we had another difficult decision to make wherein the neighborhood was divided. The issue was to decide if the City should fund a road extension which when completed would cause some historical traffic patterns to change to a more direct route option with a new direct roadway link from the neighborhood through to 700 East. The new access would then be through to a signalized intersection with a controlled left hand turn.
For some of the residents, the additional traffic, which is certainly a major concern and issue would create potentially more hazards for residents on the impacted existing roads. They will be forced to absorb the higher levels of cars travelling past their homes.
For the other residents, in favor of opening the road, they felt that because the proposed new access road had been on the Sandy City transportation master plan for 19 years, in concert with some new home development traffic that has impacted their streets which has been the in/out roads out of the area, also leading to 700 East which is not and will never be a signalized intersection, it has made their homes and roads more congested and less safe.
These two diametrically opposed, very well spoken and educated groups presented details that supported each position. One group even went so far as to hire a traffic engineer to address differences with regards to some of Sandy City’s traffic engineer’s conclusions. That presentation together with a residents power point presentation was one of the best seen in many a meeting.
In the end, I voted with the majority of the City Council to allow the City to fund the improvements and open up the new section of road leading into a signalized intersection. My decision was based upon a number of findings and thoughts as listed below:
1. It seemed to me that yes, there will most likely, in the future be vehicle accidents in the neighborhood as a result of increased traffic. But it also occurred to me that the type of neighborhood accidents would most likely be inconvenient with potential for mostly minor injuries. However, the type of accidents for those same residents trying to make left hand turns onto 700 East without a signalized intersection could and would most likely be significantly more injurious and life altering for those folks.
2. Secondly, if, at some point the jurisdictional authority for 700 East (the Utah Department of Transportation) will decide to place a curb/median in 700 East. At that point in time, the two existing residential roads leading out of the neighborhood where people make those hazardous left hand turns, would no longer be available and getting out of the area would be even more difficult.
3. Lastly, the two ends of the new road (leaving only the middle new proposed segment) have been completed and known for years, both visually and in print in the transportation master plan and although this is a minor consideration, a lot of folks in existing homes in the area have been planning on relief based upon those two elements on their streets.
In the end, the Council voted six to one in favor of allowing the administration to use budgeted and intended funds to complete the gap in the road connection. Simply put, this was the lesser of two evils and again a hard decision to make. For those that this will affect in a negative way, I am sorry.
On a lighter note, we discussed with some anxious anticipation about the future funding that is becoming available known as the community development block grant funds (CDBG). These funds are given to the City through the federal government. This is a great program which has in the past provided our residents with significant financial benefits especially for the elderly and homeless as well as a variety of other community projects. We expect, in the next couple of weeks to continue with that tradition and allocate funds to some great organizations who provide a tremendous service to our residents, young and old alike.
Next, the last step in the annexation of the homes located near the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon was achieved and I would like to welcome our newest residents into Sandy City – congratulations!
|April 7, 2015
We started the Council meeting with a tour of the new Mount Jordan Middle School located on 9400 South and 300 East. This will be an amazing learning center for our students! The designers have used a design establishing a very creative learning and thriving environment. For our part, the Council voted to approve municipal funds to enhance the stage and theater.
The plan is to have our arts guild (now celebrating its 30th year) and community share in the use of this school district owned theater that in the past has used the old Mount Jordan and Eastmont School stages and have every year converted the City Council chambers into a stage for use in its theatrical productions.
In another presentation, Stan Parrish and Galen Nate from the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce wowed the Council with their accomplishments from last year. Because we contribute funding to the Chamber, we ask them to present to us annually their accomplishments. Stan spoke briskly for about 20 minutes trying to cram in all of their accomplishments including the statement that our funds were a decreasing percentage of their budget in conjunction with a substantially growing membership. He also announces that the Chamber will be focusing more on promoting Sandy as a tourism destination to help move our cause further along. Great job last year Sandy Chamber!
The next item was yet another annexation resolution located in the Granite community. This one is a landmark site known to most as the Granite Chapel located on 3000 East. This building is such as significant and historic structure it will be exciting to perhaps see how Sandy can offer to help preserve it for generations to come.
Lastly, and not part of the Council agenda but we spoke about an on-going discussion on how to help improve the Dimple Dell Park and Canyon (formerly called a gully).
After that discussion, I decided the next morning to run my yellow Labrador retriever up from the Exposition Center to Granite Park and back. The neat part of this run is it’s located right in the middle of our City and, I only had to cross one road! Other than the great scenery and the quiet nature of the run, we saw deer, cottontail rabbits, mourning doves, quail and other birds. On the return run down the north rim trail I noted what a great place we recreate, live and work. With Dimple Dell Canyon and Sandy City spread out before me and the Wasatch fronts Lone Peak wilderness area behind me I thought to myself, wow, I get to live here!
If you have not hiked, rode, run or biked in Dimple Dell Canyon, you are really missing out. Call for tour and join me and the Labrador – Charli.
Have a great week Sandy!
|March 30, 2015
A special recognition resolution called a Citizen of Merit was presented to one of Sandy’s famous residents: Mr. Johnny Burt.
Johnny is a handicapped resident who has lived in Sandy for about the last 60 years. He is always seeking out ways to help, sometimes he gets a bit loud and verbose but his intention is always to help, in his own way. Johnny seems to show up everywhere, all the time, some folks even think he has a twin or was cloned at birth. If everyone had his passion, disableed or not, the world would be a better place to live.
The Council meeting was attended by about 100 people and after the resolution was read and presented to Johnny (with his brother Doug standing by) the audience rose in a very loud standing ovation. Congratulations Johnny and thank you for being a Citizen of Merit in Sandy.
If you know of anyone who resides or works in Sandy and noteworthy, please give me a call.
Other than the resolution above, we discussed Hale Centre Theatre, property, sales tax and budgetary woes, a legislative re-cap from our Capital Hill team and reappointed volunteers serving the City in various committees that also helps make our City a great place to live, work and recreate.