Salt Lake County has maintained a conservative budget all while investing in opportunities and community assets for a better future. That’s the message Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams delivered during his annual State of the County Address this morning.
McAdams credits bipartisanship, fiscal prudence and a thriving local economy for the county’s ability to adequately fund arts and cultural facilities, museums, parks, trails and other services.
“This year we will invest $12.5 million to fix and refresh some of those facilities that we’re entrusted to manage; some that are showing some wear and tear,” McAdams says. “On my watch, we will not kick the can down the road.”
Some of that money will be used to update exhibits at the Clark Planetarium, complete the Jessie Eccles Quinney Center for Dance and finish most of the Jordan River Trail. This year, the county will also ask voters to renew a tax that funds Zoo, Arts and Parks.
McAdams added that in the future, residents should expect more consolidated services, like a regional 9-1-1 emergency system.
“It is unacceptable for a citizen of this valley, in the year 2014 to sit on hold for 13 minutes, as happened last year, while confusion reigns among dispatchers who struggle with a patchwork system,” McAdams says.
McAdams touted the county’s public-private partnership with Goldman Sachs that allowed 600 additional kids to go to preschool at no cost to taxpayers. On that note, he announced this year the county will launch a similar program for at-risk adults called “Better Futures”, which will help repeat offenders stay out of jail. County officials say private partners for that initiative have yet to be determined.