Jeff’s Priorities for Millcreek
Jeff has a vision for Millcreek. These are his priorities:
MAINTAIN THE SAME HIGH LEVEL OF MUNICIPAL SERVICES.
One of my highest priorities is to maintain the same generally excellent level of services we have enjoyed over the years. Millcreek residents have expressed time and again how satisfied they have been. There is no reason the majority of those services cannot continue. We can contract directly with Salt Lake County for public works services, like snow plowing, street repair, and animal services. Some specific planning and engineering services may also be purchased from Salt Lake County. There is no reason to change. I expect the same services can be obtained for the same or even lower prices we are now paying.
Fire protection is currently provided by the Unified Fire Authority, police protection by the Unified Police Department, and sanitation by Wasatch Waste and Recycling. We are in independent taxing districts for these services. They will not change in our new city without a popular vote. People tell me they are generally happy. I do not anticipate residents will want a change to be one of the city’s future priorities. I would, however, work to increase police patrols in our city.
To establish Millcreek’s own identity, there are certain services we must provide for ourselves. We should employ planners dedicated to Millcreek, who are familiar with our vision, our general plan, and our ordinances. They will work hand-in-hand with our residents and our City Council to shape the community we want.
Similarly, our own economic development personnel can cultivate existing businesses and attract new businesses consistent with our vision. This will help us to generate additional tax revenue to provide even better services to the residents of Millcreek.
Based on information provided to me by Mayor McAdams, the MSD will be contracting for public services just like us. See detailed explanation of my position on the MSD.
CONTROL COSTS AND KEEP TAXES LOW.
Many of our residents opposed incorporation, thinking that it would add an extra and unnecessary layer of government. Millcreek residents were already paying salaries for personnel at the County that performed the functions of a city government. Thus, we are not adding another layer of government, but merely transferring those costs from 21st South State Street to the City of Millcreek.
We will live within our means–this is probably the most important of our priorities. The taxes we have been paying to the County will be shifted to the City, so we can directly hire staff. The pre-incorporation feasibility study showed that Millcreek will have a surplus of funds. This surplus is sufficient to pay for modest rented space for City offices. As mentioned above, we will contract directly with Salt Lake County for most of our services, but the City should employ planners and economic development personnel dedicated to Millcreek. The funds used to pay for these services are the same funds we currently giving to the County.
The correct way to obtain additional revenues is to cultivate existing locally-owned businesses, and explore economic development in appropriate areas of the City. We will want to attract new businesses, but it is a priority that be done consistent with residents’ vision. Community input on what is appropriate and where that is to be done will be crucial in order to develop a plan supported by Millcreek residents.
PROTECT OUR PARKS, FOOTHILLS, AND OPEN SPACES.
I have always been an advocate for more trails, parks and open spaces. I worked with Millcreek residents, Salt Lake County and The Trust for Public Lands to raise funding to acquire Millcreek’s Grandeur Peak Open Space. I worked to obtain ZAP grants and Salt Lake County Parks funds for improving Canyon Rim Park (remodeled bathrooms) and Tanner Park (resurfaced tennis courts). Grant applications I helped write are pending for improvements at Fortuna Park (playground equipment) and Big Cottonwood Park (splash-pad). As part of my work on the Millcreek Community Center, Evergreen Park was completely refurbished. We were even able to keep the pumpkin!
I will continue this work to improve and expand the parks and open space available for families and recreation in Millcreek. Fortuna Park will get its new playground equipment and the splash-pad will be built at Big Cottonwood Park. Our community needs a swimming pool. Someday we will get one. I know how to pursue the significant amount of grant money available for these types of amenities. Many bike riders in Millcreek want to see the Parley’s Trail is complete to the Jordan River. I will work with the PRATT Coalition, Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City and UDOT to make this a reality. I have always and will continue to seek out residents’ opinions. Their input sets the priorities from which we work.
IMPROVE STREETS AND SIDEWALKS WHILE MAINTAINING MILLCREEK’S CHARM.
We need targeted economic development to generate revenue for more sidewalks and improved roads and other infrastructure. I will support modernizing zoning and development ordinances that will revitalize our community while preserving the charm of our existing neighborhoods.
Funding tools, such as CDAs (Community Development Areas) and the existing West Millcreek RDA, are available to support existing businesses. They can also be used to attract new business and expand and improve the services provided to Millcreek residents. We now have the opportunity to hire our own economic
development personnel, who will be dedicated exclusively to Millcreek. I want to ensure our residents have a choice among a large variety of shopping, dining, and other local business options. I want to see Millcreek become a walkable community. My vision is that Millcreek will always be a desirable place for families to raise their kids.
I am happy to talk with you about your ideas for the future of Millcreek. I welcome your suggestions, comments, and ideas about these and other priorities you have in mind. Call me anytime at 801-541-6500. Jeff