January 26, 2016 City Council Report:
During the Council member comments portion of the meeting, I gave a report with regards to open space and trails. Since 1996 the citizens of Utah have voted and passed $237 million dollars in bonds for open space parks and trails.
Closer to home, the residents of Salt Lake County have three times approved of the ZAP tax which is a tax increase of 1/10th of one percent equating to about $300 million to be used for zoos, arts and parks in Salt Lake County. Additionally and as part of the bonds, the Salt Lake County voters overwhelmingly approved of $95 million in open space bonds, one bond that was approved was during a very challenging economic time in 2012! Pretty sure the voters of Salt Lake County seriously want us to continue moving the open space, arts parks and trails improvements forward in our communities.
The next item we passed was a resolution to adopt the Salt Lake County Granite Community Master Plan (adopted by the Salt Lake County Commissioners in 1993) now part of our Sandy City community guidelines moving forward as residents in the unincorporated area annex into Sandy. For my vote, I want the folks in this great area to know that we have no intention of changing the character and feel of the historic Granite community. In fact, I would really enjoy being able to protect, preserve and enhance a couple of the old historic buildings in the area such as the old white church.
Lastly, we approved a funding a request I made to the Council for improvements to a second Milestone House. This facility takes “fostered out kids” (those turning 18 in foster care and no longer qualifying for state assistance) and provides them with a safe place to live. They also help mentor them in establishing a budget, getting a job, caring for themselves and other needed skills. The monetary contribution by Sandy City will help the primary sponsor; the Good Shepard Lutheran Church provide improvements to a home they own located on about 725 East 8600 South (see the picture below). The remodeled home will house another five young men thereby totaling ten souls between the two homes.
From what I think I remember Pastor James say; 33% of the kids who “foster out” of the state sponsored programs will be either drug addicts, pregnant or dead within a very short period of time after “fostering out”. The percentage of these same young men (and women) saved that they care for in their Milestone Houses tops 77%. They are saving lives!
Sadly, the vote was not unanimous but we (four affirmative votes) still prevailed. A couple of the City Council members felt this was not an appropriate use of government funds and I could not disagree more. When the day comes that we as your representatives cannot see a basic human need, wherein we can expend a relatively small contribution to a project that will then continue on servicing the needy for decades is the day I will resign my post. I feel the Council is there to help people and last night, we did just that.
Congratulations to the great congregation of the Good Shepard Lutheran Church for stepping up and helping those young men! If you want to help or donate, stop by, I am sure they would consider it a blessing and honor to show you around.