West Valley City Journal July 2018

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July 2018 | Vol. 4 Iss. 07


VETERAN HONORED WITH CLIMBING AND AWARENESS EVENT By Keyra Kristoffersen | keyrak@mycityjournals.com any soldiers who return home have found help and healing through physical activity. To that end, Michael Cumming started Operation Climb On. On June 2, the group held a climbing event at Petzl (2929 Decker Lake Drive) in West Valley City to honor Matt McFarland, a local veteran who lost his battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in 2016. “I found that climbing with a couple other vets helped ground me and helped me get through everything,” said Cumming who spent four years in the Marine Corps and 11 in the Army doing tours all over the United States and twice in Iraq. “I thought maybe if it works for me, it would work for others.” Cumming’s own trouble with PTSD when he returned was a dark time. As he worked on his undergraduate degree at the University of Utah, he decided to focus his work on helping other veterans with reintegration and finding camaraderie outside of the military through his nonprofit. In 2013, with Micah Van Wagoner and Nick Musso, the group began their first climb with 12 participants. With donations from Petzl, Black Diamond and Liberty Mountain, Operation Climb

On has been able to take out dozens of veterans for short climbing trips along the Wasatch Front and a once a year adventure to southern Utah for a few days. “It’s just get them outdoors with other veterans and get their minds off everything else in the world,” said Cumming. In November 2016, 26-year-old Matt McFarland who had served in the Army for five years in Germany and Afghanistan, took his own life after struggling with depression and PTSD. McFarland had been actively involved in sports through high school and when he came home, got involved in rock climbing. “It brought him a lot of peace,” said Kelly Otteson, McFarland’s sister. “He was really excited being outside and climbing with some of his friends, and he was really enjoying it right before he died.” After McFarland’s death, his family sought organizations to help and make donations in his honor. After some searching, they found Operation Climb On, an experience that Otteson said gave her goosebumps because it seemed like the perfect pairing. “It felt really like something that Matt Continued on page 5...

Matt McFarland, local Army veteran, was an avid climber and outdoorsman who wanted to help others suffering when they returned home from service. (Kelly Otteson)

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Page 2 | July 2018

2/8/18 12:10 PM

West Valley City Journal

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July 2018 | Page 3

Jewish community celebrates 25 years of education and support By Keyra Kristoffersen | keyrak@mycityjournals.com

The West Valley City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout West Valley City. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals. com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: circulation@mycityjournals.com The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

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o celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Salt Lake City center of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah, a gala was thrown at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center on May 31. “The Jewish Community has evolved and grown by leaps and bounds, predominantly thanks to Chabad,” said Rabbi Avremi Zippel, whose parents opened the center in 1992. Chabad Lubavitch is the world’s largest Jewish outreach movement that began in the White Russia area (now known as the eastern part of present day Belarus) more than 250 years ago by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi. After World War II, global Judaism was down, and Holocaust survivors didn’t know where to go. Chabad was brought to the United States in the 1940’s, and in the 1950’s, leadership began sending out emissary couples around the world to help organize and define Jewish centers of community in places that were struggling or where none previously existed. To celebrate the 90th birthday of Rabbi Menachem, Mendel Schneerson, the one who began the emissary program, a new area would be opened where no one had begun a center before, Salt Lake City. It was Zippel’s parents, Rabbi Benny and Sharonne Zippel, with their baby son, who would leave their home in Brooklyn, New York, and open the Chabad Lubavitch of Utah in Sugar House in 1992. “This is the greatest opportunity they had ever dreamed of, and so not knowing anyone or having any sort of financial support, they pick themselves up and moved here,” said Zippel. “My first birthday party was the first-ever event in an official capacity.” Chabad, an acronym for the three intellectual faculties of chochmh, meaning wisdom, binah, meaning comprehension and da’at, meaning knowledge, is paired with Lubavitch, the town in which the movement was headquartered for more than century and means “City of Brotherly Love.” The movement operates not only as a Synagogue for worshippers to pray in, but it focuses on the education of Jewish culture and heritage. Though it’s run by observant Rabbis and

Attendees perform a traditional Jewish dance at the 25th anniversary gala honoring Chabad Lubavitch of Utah. (Chabad Lubavitch of Utah)

Jews, the clientele is not necessarily observant but able to come and be part of the Jewish community as a whole because, Zippel said, every Jew is an entire world of culture and history unto themselves. They offer family and young adult programs as well as an event center for holidays and festivities. They created a program called Project Heart, which helps at-risk Jewish youth, teens and young adults in need at the any of the treatment centers in Utah. “Chabad spent a significant amount of time providing spiritual counseling and guidance to young people and their families who find themselves in Utah,” said Zippel. “Literally from every corner of the globe, they’re here seeking treatment.” In 2014, shortly after he and his wife were married, they were called on to continue the project in Salt Lake, carrying on his parent’s work. They were the guests of honor at the 25th anniversary gala.

The night was a focus on friends and music featuring Benny Friedman and food catered by Cuisine Unlimited. The evening also included recognition for Robert and Sue Prottas with the Partner Award, Scott and Jesselie Anderson for the Benefactor Award, and Adam and Dganit Slovik for the Activist Award because of their generous philanthropy and assistance to the community. “The Sloviks have been tremendous activists on behalf of Judaism, the people of Israel and the land of Israel,” said Zippel. Zippel was determined that the evening not be focused on donations or calls to action but merely celebrating and having a great time together. “We want you to be a part of it; we want you to be able to celebrate in our joy and be a part of the celebration,” said Zippel. “It’s about being there in person and watching everything we’ve done and understanding why.” l

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West Valley City Journal

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would have supported wholeheartedly,” said Otteson. “I wish he would have known about the program; it would have helped Matt in a lot of ways.” Otteson believes part of the problem for many veterans is that mental health isn’t discussed enough, particularly after traumatic events such as the one McFarland went through with a suicide bomber. If he’d had more of a group of friends around him who understood, it would have helped a lot. With that in mind, Cumming organized the climbing event not just as a fun, free activity open to the public but gathered many different veteran service organizations. He hoped to ensure that those who came, whether veterans or those who know them, could gain access to health services, state and federal benefits and learn about other groups such Team River Runner, which take veterans on whitewater rafting trips, and Team Rubicon, which assists in disaster relief. “They can get all that information right here at this event,” Cumming said. “It’s a onestop-shop for local resources.” Climbing gear and the indoor climbing wall were provided by Petzl, and more than 100 people came out to try climbing and meet other veterans and their families. “We want to make contact, get in touch with people who might not have otherwise,” Cumming said. “If climbing is not their interest maybe they’ll find another group that connects with them. This is strictly because we don’t want to lose other vet.”

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Veterans and their families enjoyed a day of climbing at Petzl in West Valley City honoring Matt McFarland and other veterans who have lost their battles with PTSD. (Operation Climb On)

Otteson said she and her family will continue to support the group, believing that had McFarland known about it, he would have found a place where he belonged and could help others just like him. “We want to see them succeed,” said Otteson. “Even if we find one guy that needs it, that’s going to make all the difference for us.” For more information on Operation Climb On, visit: http://www.operationclimbon.org/. l


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Bikers from the south head up the Jordan River Parkway Bridge, where they met with another group of riders who came from the north. (Justin Adams/City Journals)


early 150 years ago, railroad workers from the east coast and west coast met at Promontory Point, Utah, where they signified the connection between the two halves of America with a Golden Spike. On June 2, bikers from across the Wasatch Front rode from Ogden in the north and Provo in the south and met one another at the center of the new Jordan River Parkway Bridge in Salt Lake City to celebrate the completion of over 100 miles of continuous multi-use trails. The name of the event (as well as the new trail system itself): the Golden Spoke. “It was a great ride,” said Matt Christensen, who rode from the mouth of Provo Canyon, where riders met as early as 5:15 a.m. Christensen said the various new additions to the trail system make using it much easier for Utah bikers. “I rode, and it wasn’t all connected so you would get lost in neighborhoods,” he said. “Like the Jordan Narrows area, past Thanksgiving Point, is all connected now which is great. Before you had to go up and do a big detour. So yeah, it’s great to be able to stay on trails all the way through and avoid all the traffic.” The trail system is now the longest multiuse trail west of the Mississippi River. After the two groups of riders met on the bridge, they gathered at nearby Fisher Mansion in Salt Lake City for a celebration that included food trucks, a bike course for kids and public speakers. “It was a great ride,” said Scott Barrett, a Sugar House resident who regularly uses the trails system as well as public transportation to commute to his job in Draper every day. “There were all types of riders, all types of bikes, and

we had great weather.” The trail system’s potential for providing Utah residents with alternative commuting options was noted by both event organizers and guest speakers, including Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who attended the celebration portion of the event at Fisher Mansion. “This helps us with our air quality as we get off of our vehicles and onto bicycles,” said Herbert. Herbert also drew comparisons between the Golden Spoke trail system and the Golden Spike, the place where the Transcontinental Railroad’s east and west ends met in Promontory Point, Utah. “The Golden Spoke’s a little more regional, a little more local, but no less important,” said Herbert. “The Transcontinental Railroad connected the east and west coasts together so America was a little smaller. What we’re doing here with these trails is connecting our communities, making it so we can in fact work together and appreciate each other’s communities.” Herbert was joined by other local leaders, such as Mike Caldwell, the mayor of Ogden, as well as the chair of the Wasatch Front Regional Council, a cooperative alliance of local government leaders tasked with finding and implementing innovative transportation solutions to accommodate Utah’s rapidly growing population. “I think this can only happen in the state of Utah, where communities come together, they work together, they collaborate, they coordinate,” Caldwell said. “I don’t see this kind of work happening in any other state that I’ve had exposure to.” l

West Valley City Journal

Behind-the-scenes look at major fireworks shows By Lana Medina| l.medina@mycityjournals.com


he telltale BOOM goes off, followed by several more bursts, and then a series of fireworks flash into the sky. Every 4th and 24th of July, crowds come from far and wide to witness one of dozens of fireworks shows that light up the Salt Lake Valley. Behind the scenes, it’s a very different picture. “I think of it as painting a canvas,” said Lantis Fireworks salesman and licensed Utah pyrotechnician Jeffery Ott. “And I have the sky to paint on.” Lantis Fireworks produces some of the major fireworks productions in the Salt Lake Valley, including the popular Salt Lake City and Sandy City fireworks shows. Each of those 15–20 minute fireworks displays take hours of work to organize the performance, set up fireworks connections, coordinate with local fire marshals and ensure safety. Organizing One of the most prominent shows in the Salt Lake Valley is the one where hundreds of fireworks shoot off the roof of the Sandy City Hall every 4th of July. Months beforehand, Lantis Fireworks coordinates with Sandy City officials to decide how long the show will be, how close viewers can get to Sandy City Hall and still be safe and what music will help time out the display. In the background of almost every fireworks show are carefully timed pieces of music stitched together, to which the fireworks are choreographed to match tempo. “When you’re playing the Star Spangled Banner, you’re not shooting pow pow pow, you’re shooting one shell, then another,” Ott explained. “You want your shells in the air to match the music. The music really dictates what you see.” This year, it won’t just be music. Sandy City is partnering with FM radio station Z104 to broadcast the music, along with recordings of service members’ wives talking about them coming home. “We try not to make it just about things exploding. The ending has always been spectacular — we don’t expect anything less this year,” said Mearle Marsh, community events director for Sandy City. Marsh says this is the second year Sandy City will have fireworks discharged from the roof of the Sandy City Hall. “It’s a challenging location but it makes for a really beautiful setting for the fireworks,” he said. Lantis Fireworks and Sandy City officials have big plans for this year’s fireworks display. There’s the “cake” fireworks: multi-shot aerial fireworks that make a rapid staccato burst of noise during the show. Then, in the Sandy City show, there’s the three-inch shells that light up the night sky with a big boom, then two combine to create the overall, bigger fireworks display. By using a mix of colors and matching several different types of shells to music, a pyrotechnician can create an amazing fireworks

WestValleyJ ournal.com

Months of work goes into creating a memorable fireworks display. (Courtesy Lantis Fireworks)

Lantis Fireworks sets off several types of fireworks in a final performance. (Courtesy Lantis Fireworks)

show for viewers. Pyros This term may sound like a dangerous person with fire, but for fireworks, it’s the exact opposite. “Think about a conductor conducting an orchestra — that’s what a pyro does; they’re part conductor and part magician,” Ott said. Lantis Fireworks’ pyrotechnicians go through extensive training before they can even touch one of the production fireworks. According to the state of Utah regulations, pyrotechnicians — or pyros for short — are required to work on at least three fireworks shows and go through extensive safety training. Once these requirements are met, a potential pyrotechnician can then take a test to get a license that would allow them to legally shoot off production-quality fireworks.

“Production is a 1.3G fireworks classification. The stuff that your neighbors are doing, that’s consumer grade, that’s 1.4G. It’s measured on gram weight per item. Consumer is supposed to be safer, less gunpowder,” Ott explained, but cautioned that “all fireworks are explosives.” And all that training is necessary. At every show, there are fire marshals, firefighters and other emergency experts on hand in case something goes wrong. Safety “We’re attempting to put explosives in the air in a safe manner,” Ott said. Safety is the number one priority for Lantis Fireworks pyrotechnicians, Ott said. “We take every possible safety precaution from the time they’re loaded onto the truck up until the point we shoot them, and even while

we’re shooting them,” he said. “Because the truth of it is, if you’re lucky and something bad happens, you’ll lose a finger. If they don’t get lucky, they get dead. You have to think like a fire marshal. Safety is always your first priority.” Ott remembers a few years ago during a Lantis production in the Salt Lake Valley, and there was a wind shift. “When a shell goes off, it doesn’t just go up into the air; there’s often some fiery debris that comes out of the mortar tube along with the shell,” he said. “We had some fiery debris that blew over and two-thirds of the way through the show, it prematurely ignited part of the finale (fireworks). So some of that ‘boom boom boom’ started going off much sooner than it was supposed to.” There are specific rules governing major production-style fireworks displays. For every one-inch shell used in a fireworks show, viewers have to be kept at a distance of 70 feet in radius from the firework discharge zone. This means at the Sandy City Hall, when Lantis Fireworks uses three-inch shells to light up the night sky, nobody except for the licensed pyrotechnicians and safety personnel can be within 210 feet in any direction from the roof of the Sandy City Hall where the fireworks are set off. Local fire officials will be on hand at these major fireworks displays. Salt Lake City Fire spokeswoman Audra Sorenson said they prefer it when Utahns visit the fireworks shows instead of setting off their own fireworks, because it’s much more safe. “Going to a fireworks display that’s sponsored by a city or company is ideal for us. They work hand-in-hand with the city to make sure the location, the display and conditions are ideal so that they’re discharged properly,” Sorenson said. “We can work hand-in-hand with those shows’ teams to make sure it’s a safe fireworks display.” Set up For a 20-minute show, it can take a team of pyrotechnicians 10–12 hours to set up the fuses, tubes, electronics and fireworks for the display. “You have to wire in every shell by hand. Then if it’s choreographed, every shell has a specific place it has to be wired in,” Ott said. But when it’s done right, you end up creating a lasting and memorable experience for everyone watching. From young children who’ve never seen a fireworks show, to the people who never miss a fireworks show. “Our whole goal is the ooh, ahh, wow,” Ott said. “That two-three seconds of silence between the last shell going off and thunderous applause that often follows a show… is beautiful.” If local residents are planning to set off their own fireworks, there’s a map showing restricted areas: https://slcfire.com/fireworks/ For the month of July, fireworks can legally be discharged July 2–5 and July 22–25. l

July 2018 | Page 7

Mary Poppins gives a spoonful of sugar and high-flying fun By Keyra Kristoffersen | keyrak@mycityjournals.com


he Utah Cultural Celebration Center hosted a summer production of “Mary Poppins” in their outdoor amphitheater June 14 through the 22. “There will be magical surprises in the show,” said Producer Margene Conde. “It's Mary Poppins as you've never seen it.” Conde, working as both producer and assistant choreographer, as well as securing costumes with Courtney Nakashima, is known for her high energy shows with director Jim Smith — such as the 2017 production of “West Side Story.” The two have been working together for more than two decades to bring musical theater to the Salt Lake valley. They are joined again this year by choreographer Kenichi Nakashima, who is also currently in “Newsies” at Hale Center Theatre. “He's doing great,” said Conde. “I love to see my kids fly.” And fly they did in this show as a professional company called Flying by Foy has been contracted to set the rigging in the amphitheater to get Mary, played by Josie Shumway, and Bert, played by Benjamin Plowman, into the air. Conde has used professional theater flying companies before for productions of “Peter Pan” and Shumway has played Mary Poppins previously so the cast and crew were really excited to show off the magic they’ve put together over the previous 10 weeks leading up to the run.

Page 8 | July 2018

Josie Shumway as Mary Poppins flies a kite in preparation for the upcoming show. (Kevin Conde/West Valley City Photographer)

Conde was excited by the casting of Shumway and said from the moment Shumway began to audition, Conde just knew. “She is Mary. She’s magical,” said Conde. The rest of the ensemble cast was also a pleasure to watch work together, said Conde. Along with Shumway and Plowman, Alina Woodbury joined the cast as Mrs. Banks and Benjamin Cecala as Mr. Banks as well as the

vocal director. The role of Michael Banks went to Brooks Walker and Gavin DeMoux and Jane Banks was played by Chloe Warnas and Olivia Sundwall. “We had such good children's auditions and because we have an eight-night run and they were equally talented, we worked out the schedule,” said Conde. “They’re the best of friends and having so much fun.”

The cast was made up of around 35 to 40 actors so there were enough chimney sweeps to step in time with the live orchestra put together by Nancy Shino, an orchestra manager who arranges for conductors, guitarists and other musicians for community theaters all over the Salt Lake valley. She’s also worked with Conde for many years. “There's lots of singing, lots of tap dancing,” said Conde. “The magic and energy of the cast is delightful. It's perfect for summer theater.” “Mary Poppins” didn’t become available for community theater until last year and Conde wanted to do something a bit more upbeat than “West Side Story.” “We did a more family-oriented show because we thought that would be a good contrast to last year's production,” said Conde. “Mary Poppins has a good moral value, family value as well, but they're so delightfully different.” Conde and the cast are grateful for the support of West Valley City, the city council and the Utah Cultural Celebration Board and believed this production was a chance to visit one’s childhood again and the magic of Mary Poppins experienced by so many. “I think everybody remembers Mary Poppins as a child,” said Conde. “We want families to enjoy and have the opportunity to attend the theater.” l

West Valley City Journal

City manager, courted by Midwest city, accepts five-year contract from WVC By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com


n what became a divisive vote, the West Valley City Council approved (4-3) to offer current City Manager Wayne Pyle a five-year contract on May 22. This came after a previous vote to offer a six-year contract was denied 3-4. The move happened with Pyle being courted by city officials in Springfield, Missouri, for its city manager position. On May 21, Pyle was reportedly one of two finalists for the position going through final interviews before he later withdrew to accept the WVC contract. “I’m very happy to be able to stay in the city where I’ve devoted the majority of my time and professional efforts as a city manager,” Pyle wrote in an email to the West Valley Journal. “We have seen some amazing things come to pass in the city over the last 20 years, and there are many more great things happening right now. I expect that the next five years will see more of the same. I’m excited!” Pyle wrote he believed this would be beneficial for the city. “Stability in experience and expertise of our team here has been a hallmark of the last 20 years (his length of time with WVC) and has allowed for some great things to happen here in West Valley,” he said. The divide on the council stemmed from differences over the proposed contract with some council members feeling it gave Pyle too much leverage. Mayor Ron Bigelow wanted the contract to be two years in length and that Pyle meet an annual evaluation rating of 3.5 (out of five), which was not included in the approved contract. “This is a one-sided contract of what the city must do,” Bigelow said. He didn’t like that future councils could be bound to the city manager when they might have different goals and visions, “but under these terms, they won’t have any say in the matter.” Councilwoman Karen Lang added a few more things she didn’t like such as the length of termination notice wasn’t even (180 days for the city, 30 for Pyle) and no requirement to live in the city. “Because he is filling the role as our mayor, our mayor would have to live here, and I think he should have to live here and he moved out of the city last August,” she said. But Paul Isaac, assistant city manager and director of human resources who drafted the contract, said there are no additional benefits that weren’t already in place for the position. The only difference, he said, was the length which didn’t exist before. “Nothing has changed,” he said.

WestValleyJ ournal.com

“There’s not increased benefit; there’s nothing except can we please have a little bit more peace of mind, security for the city manager so that he can go forward without worrying about whether or not these guys are going to just have a whim one day to vote to fire him?” Buhler was outspoken saying a fiveor six-year contract should be offered to Pyle. He cited various examples, including having no homeless shelter in the state’s second-largest city due to the city staff’s organization to oppose the shelter sites imposed by the County last year. Buhler highlighted a homeless task force created by Pyle even months before the shelter site announcements to address the issue as a sign of his foresight and preparation. He pointed out affordable housing efforts, the zero sexually oriented businesses in the city and the awards that departments like police, finance and parks receive because of good governance. “That is due to Mr. Pyle, due to his great staff that he has put together and the direction that he has given them as city manager,” Buhler said before voting. “In my mind, this is the easiest vote we’ll have.” Prior to the vote, Councilman Lars Nordfelt said “this is the most important work that we do is to secure a city manager” who implements the council’s vision and leads a team “to do what’s best for the city.” “I think we couldn’t do better than Mr. Pyle,” Nordfelt said. “He does a great job for us.” Lang agreed with the accomplishments and planning described by Buhler. Her concern was how the contract came about and Pyle “not accepting some of the suggestions from other city council members and mayor that kind of was a ‘my way or the highway.’” The idea of a contract has been around for some time, Isaac said. According to Buhler, Pyle asked for a contract in February. For years Pyle has operated in his position without a contract, possibly the only city manager in the metropolitan area to not have one. Buhler described that as a “disservice to the city and to Mr. Pyle.” If the process to vote on the contract was rushed—it was placed on the May 15 agenda only to be tabled for the following week—it was because Isaac felt they were reaching a point where they could lose the city manager (to a city where he has extended family). “We can’t let that happen,” Isaac said. “On the other hand, they’ve had that contract for two weeks and had plenty of time

City Manager Wayne Pyle introduces Colleen Nolen as police chief in February 2018. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

to look at it.” It’s a contract, Isaac said, that is not one sided. “What does the city get out of it?” he said. “Well, the answer to that question is: You get Wayne. You get the best city manager in the valley.” Councilman Jake Fitisemanu Jr. was the swing vote, voting against the six-year term but for the five years. He said he understood the impression of the contract tilting in Pyle’s favor, but said “the process allowed us to review and to add our comments and to suggest modifications. I think that process was thorough.” A five-year contract is fairly standard, Pyle said, citing former police chief Lee Russo’s contract length was five years. Pyle accepted the contract terms in principal the week of the vote and signed the contract shortly thereafter, just as Isaac expected him too. “Wayne loves it here,” Isaac said. “He doesn’t want to go.” Isaac also said city staff was “elated” at the decision and felt this would “regenerate everybody in this city, including Wayne himself.” If this discussion and split vote could hinder relations going forward, Lang doesn’t see it. “I think we get along very, very well, and that’s what I’ve always liked about this council, that even though we may have different opinions and differences, we all play well together,” she said. “I don’t see it being a big hiccup. I think we all just pick up next week, we all get along and we all move forward.” l

July 2018 | Page 9

WVC’s Nicole Cottle named to Inland Port Authority board By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com


he massive inland port hub is coming to West Valley City’s northern border, and the city has a seat at the table. The city council unanimously approved Nicole Cottle to fill that seat during its June 19 meeting. Appointed by City Manager Wayne Pyle to the Inland Port Authority board, Cottle is the city’s economic development director and assistant city manager. During the June 12 study meeting Pyle said given Cottle’s experience as a lawyer, her work in economic development and in both the private and public sector makes her “well qualified” and a “natural recommendation.” After the council’s approval, Pyle added she has lots of connections with both county and state leadership and lobbies for the city during legislative sessions. “It’s not even just from a networking stand point,” Pyle said. “She’s already our land use expert anyway from a knowledge and experience stand point, so she really is just natural for the job from her experience and expertise.” The June 19 vote was a formality as city

councilmembers expressed their trust in Cottle. Mayor Ron Bigelow had no doubt the city would be well represented by Cottle. He expects her hold her own with the members of the board, and then some. “In fact, it’s quite the opposite,” he said. “They’ll have some challenges because they won’t be as knowledgeable and as experienced as she is. That’s the advantage that we have.” Despite their dissatisfaction with a “general trend” of state officials usurping local control, Pyle said they ultimately felt it was better to have a seat at the table “to have some voice and representation.” Land from WVC to be included in the planned inland port is a small triangle-shaped piece of land just north of SR 201, where city officials already had economic development plans in place. By engaging in the process, Pyle said those plans will remain intact. “We were able to work with the language in the bill and the leadership to both give us participation, but at the same time protect those pieces of property.” l

Nicole Cottle, West Valley City’s economic development director and assistant city manager, was unanimously approved to serve on the Inland Port Authority board. (Courtesy West Valley City)

Page 10 | July 2018

West Valley City Journal

Sen. Mayne hears teachers’ pleas, gains another $300,000 to combat gang activity By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com

Taylorsville State Sen. Karen Mayne has secured new funding to combat gang activity. (City Journals file photo)


hen Democratic State Sen. Karen Mayne met with west-side school teachers earlier this year, she expected to hear the usual discussion about low salaries and limited funding for classroom supplies. Instead, she heard some shocking revelations that prompted her to act quickly. “State lawmakers who represent areas served by the Granite School District meet with members of the Granite Education Association every year before the state legislative session begins,” Mayne said. “But this year’s conversation was different and very troubling.” One teacher told her she was “looking at gangsters in fifth grade.” The senate minority whip said the west Salt Lake Valley teachers sitting at her table all wanted to see more funding allocated to combat rising gang numbers and gang violence. “I was shocked when the teachers explained how they are seeing kids as young as fifth grade becoming involved in gang activity,” Mayne continued. “(Gang leaders) are very sophisticated in the ways they recruit new members. They prey on kids who appear to be outsiders without many friends. After hearing them, I knew I needed to do something.” “We really appreciate the effort Senator Mayne made to gain more funding to battle gang activity,” said State Board of Education member Linda Hansen. “She went out of her way to listen to the teachers’ concerns and then she took action.” Hansen said, for several years, the state education board has had $1.2 million in annual tax funding set aside to combat gang activity.

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But by the time this issue landed on Mayne’s plate, that funding had already been allocated to school districts for the year. So, the senator decided to go after more money. “I went to my (senate) colleagues and explained the issues teachers were raising about gangs,” Mayne said. “I told them the $1.2 million earmarked by the state board of education was not enough. After some of my (senate) committees approved it, I was able to secure an additional $300,000 each year, boosting the total anti-gang funding now to $1.5 million annually.” Schools will still have to apply for the funding each year and will still have to meet certain criteria to get it. But Mayne said the 25 percent boost in anti-gang funds will help more kids to avoid going down that path. “In order to get anti-gang funding, schools must demonstrate they have proven techniques for dealing with the problem,” Hansen said. “If they have not used effective methods for dealing with the problem in the past, the schools have to explain what techniques they will use that have a proven success record in other places.” Two of the primary ways school districts and law enforcement agencies combat gang recruitment are to develop organized after school activities and to establish mentoring programs. Mayne described her success in securing the additional anti-gang funding to elected officials at a recent Taylorsville City Council meeting. Among those on hand to hear about was Unified Police Department Precinct Chief

Tracy Wyant. “Senator Mayne has long been an advocate for public safety — both police and fire — so seeing this effort to take on gang violence is not surprising,” the chief said. “Over the past 18 to 24 months, we have seen more homicides — throughout the Salt Lake Valley — committed by young gang members, from age 14 up into their early 20s. These funds should help the UPD Metro Gang Unit to combat this trend.” Wyant also added that he doesn’t believe Taylorsville has a “considerable” gang problem. “We have seen a modest uptick (in gang issues) over the past two years in Taylorsville,” he concluded. “But throughout the Salt Lake Valley, the problems are worse in several other areas.” Mayne is proud to have secured the anti-gang funding. “I was surprised when the teachers raised that as such a critical issue,” she said. “And I’m glad we were able to earmark more funding for the problem.” Mayne has served as Utah’s District 5 senator since she was appointed to replace her husband, the late Ed Mayne, when he passed away in 2007. “Ed and I were basically co-senators working together, since he was first elected in 1994,” she said. “It has been a challenge serving without him. But I am happy and proud to work on behalf of my neighbors in the west Salt Lake Valley.” l

July 2018 | Page 11

Dedicated high-schoolers recognized by WVC leaders By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com


ozens of high-schoolers (and their families) filled the city council chambers in May as students were recognized for their academic efforts. Fifty-six students from around West Valley City were awarded the Mayor’s Star of Excellence during a May 22 city council meeting. The teenagers attended Hunter, Granger, Cyprus and Taylorsville high schools. MaryAnna Mendez was one of 14 Cyprus students to receive the honor. “I was very surprised,” she said of her reaction to the recognition. “I thought it was really cool. I didn’t realize I’d been that high up, and so I thought, ‘Wow, all of my hard work has paid off.’” Mendez is a 4.0 student who sings in the madrigals choir and will be the student body secretary the coming school year. Hunter High student Emily Murray didn’t know the accolade existed until she heard she was being recognized. But that didn’t lower her enthusiasm. “I was really excited,” she said. “ It’s nothing I would’ve expected so it’s awesome.” Each student who came to receive their certificate shook hands with each elected official as well. “It’s nice to meet them all and be able to be acknowledged for (my hard work),” Murray said. The awards are given to top juniors in high school based on their GPA and ACT, the admissions index for public colleges and universities. Lejla Mujic of Granger took top spot among the 56 students with a score of 136. Mendez tied for the third highest score with a 131. Mendez credited her academic dedication to her family. “They push me to work hard, and I’m always trying to do my best so that I can make them proud,” she said. Murray, who is on dance company and madrigals, also said it was her family, notably her parents, who pushed her to work hard. The soon-to-be Hunter senior plans to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after high school before possibly pursuing an engineering degree, though she remains undecided on her major just yet. The number of students to receive the distinction this year almost matches 2017’s total—59. Of the 2018 students, 20 were from Hunter, five from Taylorsville, 17 from Granger and 14 from Cyprus. Among city officials’ priorities is to increase the amount of bachelor degree holders within West Valley City, the Mayor’s Star of Excellence is one program to encourage youth toward that ideal. That is just like its other program, Opportunity Scholars, where affordable housing near public transportation was granted

Students stand with WVC elected officials after being awarded the Mayor’s Star of Excellence. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

to 16 WVC residents attending the University of Utah. The program involves one-on-one mentoring and interning with businesses (in this case, only those within West Valley City). City leaders’ goal would be to encourage those students to maintain their connection to the city, living and working in West Valley. Other recipients of the Mayor’s Star of Excellence include: Taylorsville Cameron Bessette, Kimberly Jackson, Landon Ryan Nichols, Alexander Mills and Thanh Le. Hunter Rachel Dayton, Matthew Horn, Heather House, Miranda Obic, Olivia Olschewski, Jessica Anaya, Erika Bricio, Jordyn Dumas, Gwen Drunwald, Lindsey Arrington, William Crow, Laura Hamlet, Richard Nguyen, Grant Waldrop, Sandra Del Rio


Madrigal, Brittany Kuhn, Emma Taylor, Diana Tran and Liliana Cruz Leon. Granger Jelena Dragicevic, Noah Sorenson, Ammom Hennesy, Mary Newton, Zack Christensen, Anjelus Lettig, Chloe Topacio, Harrison Wynn, Jared Clawson, Michael Edgren, Noel Munguia-Moreno, Madison Young, Cameron Bohn, Meliame Houston, Lwel Gay Htoo and Leonardo Josephs Rivadaneira. Cyprus Melisa Dizdarevic, Elizabeth Smith, Samuel Crowford, Hailey Mishler, Zachary Zito, Melody Christman, Derek Jacketta, Sara Lynne Davis, Baylee Norman, Alijah Caskinette, Elizabeth Divall, Joel Guillen and Jessica Lopez Lugo. l


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West Valley City Journal

A Wolverine is headed to the Pacific Northwest By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


uccess for Hunter graduate Jimmy Harding came through his trials and the courage he had to never give up. Days before varsity basketball tryouts he was unsure he even wanted to play and now he has a basketball scholarship. “This was my first year to play high school ball,” Harding said. “The coaches liked my work ethic. My new coaches (at Centralia College) have told me that I will need to work hard. They will not guarantee me a spot. I will need to earn it.” He has signed with Centralia College in Washington. The Trailblazers compete in the Northwest Athletic Conference. It is located south of Seattle near Olympia, Washington. This will not be the first time Harding has encountered a new environment. He was born in Cairo, Egypt, and his family moved to the United States when he was 2 years old. After living in foster care for several years, he was adopted by the Hardings at age 12. He became part of the family with two of his natural siblings; the Hardings already had five children. In a family of eight kids, he faced many challenges and decided to leave for a short time. He returned for his senior year and made the decision to do his best. “I thought about my future and the support they (friends and family) were willing to give me,” Harding said. “I knew what was right. Hunter High was a good school. The people are

Jimmy Harding averaged 17.7 points per game in his senior and only year of high school basketball. (Photo courtesy of Sara Harding)

great and helped me a lot.” As basketball season approached, he was not sure he was going to try out. He had never played organized high school basketball. “I was doing boxing when the season was going to start,” he said. “I thought I was going

Salt Lake County Council’s


ne of the top priorities for the County Council this year is to fully open the Oxbow Jail. As an elected official in Salt Lake County I believe keeping our public safe and our jail system operating effectively and efficiently is one of our most important duties. And since Salt Lake County’s largest budget expenditure is the jail and over 70 percent of the General Fund is used for criminal justice-related expenses, it’s an issue that’s often top of mind for me.

The County’s 2018 budget that was approved in December provided funding to fully open the Oxbow Jail. We hoped that this, combined with optimizing the jail bed space at the Adult Detention Center would have a significant impact on criminal justice challenges in the county. Having sufficient jail bed space so our law enforcement officers can arrest offenders and have a place to take them is vital. Resources for more beds gives officers

WestValleyJ ournal.com

to plan to stick to that. I was not sure I wanted to stop. Then I changed my mind and decided to take a break from it.” In a surprise to him, he made the varsity team and rarely played to begin the season. “I sat and watched the games and won-

dered what I could do,” Harding said. He got his chance and played in 16 games for the Wolverines. He averaged 17.7 points per game, and 8.1 rebounds. In back-to-back games he scored 30 points each (against Hillcrest and Taylorsville), his season high. “Coach always wanted us to hustle,” Harding said. “He did not like when we walked, and he wanted us to play defense. Coach always wanted me to go to the rim and score.” The Wolverines only managed to win three games despite their efforts. “I think we could have done better this year,” Harding said. “I am not sure we had the confidence to finish it up. We would play well at the beginning of the game, and then we would fall apart. We could not finish it. I think at times we got intimidated. I have tried to not play that way. I think my boxing helped with that.” His coaches, parents and recruiters helped him find Centralia College. “Jimmy went above and beyond our expectations for our players,” Wolverines head basketball coach Rob Collins said. “The future is very bright for him, and we are excited to see what it holds.” Harding will leave for school July 29. He plans to study physical therapy. “I am really excited and can’t wait,” Harding said. “The team last year was really good. I will find out for myself when I get there. I would like to build my skills and get better.” l

Jail staffing shortages delay opening of Oxbow Jail

this tool as they do their jobs to keep our streets free from potentially dangerous individuals. The main challenge to fully opening Oxbow is a staffing shortage. While there is enough funding for new operations, the jail is struggling to hire enough corrections officers to sufficiently staff the new pods that would be open. When the Sheriff presented to our council recently, we learned that there were 78 vacant positions at the jail. Even with new hires expected soon, the rate of turnover and retirement makes having sufficient staff a challenge. Simply put, corrections officers leave for higher paying jobs elsewhere, or for better benefits. We’ve also been told that many hope to transition into a patrol officer job with one of many law enforcement departments in the valley that are vying

for personnel as well. I’ve been worried that our county faces a looming law enforcement crisis. Many departments face shortages and are competing with each other for officers by offering higher wages or other perks to attract people. One idea that was presented as part of our mid-year budget process, is to offer a $2,000 incentive to retain corrections officers at the jail if they do not leave for employment elsewhere over the next six months. July is a prime time that cities amend their budgets to offer higher wages, and is a natural time for corrections officers to leave for those other positions. Hopefully this cash retention bonus would help encourage them to stay with our jail. There will be ongoing conversations about how to help ensure our county jail is adequately staffed so we have the

Aimee Winder Newton County Council District 3

needed capacity to take dangerous people off the streets. I’m incredibly grateful to the Sheriff and her staff for working on this issue, and I’m confident we’ll find solutions moving forward. l

July 2018 | Page 13

For first time in 18 years, Lancer softball makes playoffs By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


t had been 18 years since the Lancers had played a game in a postseason tournament. “It felt good to have a great year,” senior Aspen Earnshaw said. “My senior year, and we played really well.” The Lancers captured 16 wins this season, nine more than they had in 2017. It all started with a successful St. George trip in March. They won three out of four games in the March Warm-up tournament. They scored 64 runs in their five games. “I don’t know what really made the difference,” first-year head coach Sam Vidal said. “We put in the hard work and made the girls understand that they can. They can believe in themselves and change the culture of Granger.” Believing turned on the offense for the Lancers. They scored 246 runs in 27 games, an average of 9.1 per game. “I have been teaching at Granger for two years, and I think all of our sports are starting to believe that they can,” Vidal said. “Sometimes we had the idea that ‘yeah we are Granger, and we are here, but not supposed to play well.’ The kids need to believe that we can compete with all of the other schools.” Senior Lexi Breeze led the team in hitting. She had a .603 batting average with 27 runs batted in and eight doubles. Junior Gates Leatherwood belted seven home runs and 27 RBI she also hit .507. Freshman Caitlyn Olsen had a

.506 average. “I feel that our batting was a strength,” Vidal said. “We also had several very consistent hitters like Jaiden (Griffiths), Lexi (Breeze) and Gates (Leatherwood). They really led our team.” Three players carried the pitching staff: seniors Hayley Rigby and Ann Banuelos, along with the freshman Olsen. They had a 7.23 earned run average and combined for 82 strikeouts. “It was nice pitching-wise for us,” Vidal said. “They each had their own strengths, and we were able to use them in situations we needed to.” The Lancers graduated seven seniors. They will rely on some younger players next year, many who do not have much varsity experience. “We have some girls playing summer ball,” Vidal said. “I think comp and high school leagues work hand in hand. Comp is important for players that want to continue playing in college. Those coaches can get out and see them during the summer months. I think they are both beneficial. In high school, the girls practice every day; that helps.” Lexi Macarthur returned to the team this season. She has been cancer free for several months. “We know about her fight, and it was awe-

Granger qualified for the state softball team for the first time in 18 years. (Aspen Earnshaw/Granger softball)

some from a coaching standpoint,” Vidal said. “She did not want it to be about her, but deep down it was amazing to see her fight and what she has gone through. As a team, we benefited knowing the things she can do by believing.” Vidal enjoyed his first year as the Lancers’

head coach. “I love it here, and the girls have embraced it,” Vidal said. “I want them to be proud of their school and where they are from. It takes a lot of school pride.” l

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Page 14 | July 2018

West Valley City Journal

RMR partners with Parents Empowered By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

Rocky Mountain Raceway has set up several displays around the facility to remind its patrons of the dangers of underage drinking. (Greg James/City Journals)


ocky Mountain Raceway has teamed up with Parents Empowered to discourage underage drinking. “I have come to the race track several times,” West Valley Youth Council Member Zack Christensen said. “My aunt has raced here several times. It is a fun place, and I am glad they are supporting this message. I know of friends that have gotten alcohol from their parents. It is hard to watch them go down this downward spiral. It can lead to dependence and life troubles.” Christensen, who will be an incoming senior at Granger High School, said it is important for parents to set guidelines and become proactive in their kids’ lives. “The race track is a great place to interact as families and groups,” he said. “I think teens will drink when they do not feel happy. I think families need to be part of kids lives. The race track can be an escape from reality. Even a small amount of parent involvement can reduce the real consequences of underage drinking.” Parents Empowered is using RMR as a unique way to get their message out to parents. “We are excited to work with Rocky Mountain Raceway,” Parents Empowered co-chairman Art Brown said. “It is a great venue that hosts families. It is a place where families can be together and watch

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some fast cars.” According to the Student Health and Risk Prevention underage drinking has decreased steadily since the formation of the group Parents Empowered (10 years ago). West Valley Mayor Ron Bigelow has been a strong supporter of the program. Studies also show the people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to become dependent during their lifetime. There are 16 million alcoholics in the United States; more than 4 million are teens (according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse). Underage drinking impairs brain development. A teenage brain is still developing, and alcohol can do irreversible damage to the learning and memory center, the hippocampus. In Utah, a person under the age of 21 who possesses, consumes or buys alcohol is committing a crime. Penalties are severe and can include fines and even jail time. “Programs like this can make a difference,” West Valley Police Lt. Rob Hamilton said. “Many teenagers drink to get drunk. Studies show that kids are drinking as young as sixth grade. This is an important issue; we need to set clear boundaries. I hope the residents can work together with us. You or a friend should

not have to be a recipient of me or one of my peers knocking on your door. It is one of the worst things we have to do.” Alcohol is approximately 35 percent of the concession sales at Rocky Mountain Raceway. The track offers family sections where alcohol and smoking are not permitted. Hamilton said the racetrack is very proactive in preventing driving under the influence and underage drinking. “RMR is very responsible, and their internal security is very good,” he said. “Our intel briefing has not seen an increase in alcohol-related crimes on RMR event nights. They are a facility that does a great job supporting families.” RMR has several competitors that are under the legal drinking age, and officials plan to help provide public service announcements to remind parents of the laws. “During our final season we think it is an important opportunity to help fight against the abuse of alcohol amongst teens and the hazards that it can do to a teenagers brain,” said Mike Eames, raceway general manager. “We have installed some creative signs and displays. They will be a reminder on race day about alcohol use, but it will remind parents the role that they can play in preventing underage drinking.” l

July 2018 | Page 15

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West Valley City Journal


Remember these safety tips during fireworks season

ndependence Day is a day (and night) to celebrate the birth of our nation. There’s watching parades, enjoying backyard barbecues and, of course, igniting fireworks. Fireworks. There’s lots of them here, especially with July 24 , Pioneer Day, also being a holiday where fireworks play a major entertainment role. In makes for month full of blasts, bangs, whizzes, and sparkly colors lighting up the dark. But the joys of fireworks come with risks. To avoid accidents (or even death), here’s a few tips to remember as you and neighbors prepare to celebrate your state and country. 1. Recent legislation passed in Utah limits the days of the year allowed to light fireworks. Only light fireworks during those days in accordance with the newly passed law. 2. Check with your city to determine what areas allow fireworks. Cities such as Sandy and Herriman have decreased the areas that permit fireworks. 3. Know your fireworks. Read cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting. 4. Don’t get fancy. While it may be tempting to be creative and construct your own fireworks, the results may not be worth it. Just ask a friend who lost half his hair and needed to wear a hat/bandana for six months to protect his scalp. 5. Responsible adults should not only be present, but should supervise closely. Never give fireworks to small children.

6. Alcohol and fireworks does not make a good cocktail. Save your alcohol for after the show. 7. Light one firework at a time and don’t linger. Fireworks look just as pretty from 30 feet away as they do from five. 8. This one may seem obvious, but fireworks should be shot outside, not inside. 9. Dress appropriately. Loose clothing that can catch fire easily should be left in the drawer, while snugly fitted long sleeves and pants can protect from potential burns. 10. Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby. 11. Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers. The ricochet hurts just as much. 12. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials. 13. Report illegal explosives. They ruin it for the rest of us. 14. Don’t forget about your pets. Make sure they are securely indoors and have identification tags in case they do escape during a fireworks display. 15. Keep fireworks out of reach where curious children can’t get to them. High heat or damp air can damage the fireworks. The best place to put them is in a cardboard box in a high location such as a cabinet or shelf. 16. Last, but not least, make sure everyone using fireworks has safety glasses or goggles. l

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July 2018 | Page 17

‘Handcuffed’ cities: The new transportation tax By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com


new $58 million sales tax will be implemented throughout Salt Lake County. It will be a quarter-cent tax (one cent for every $4 spent) with collection going toward transportation funding. Leaders of the cities and townships within the county had to decide whether to support this tax by June 22. Enough municipalities showed support and the tax could be implemented as early as next month. The state legislature has been trying to impose this tax for years. In 2015, Proposition 1 was on the general election ballot. After it failed, state legislatures went to work drafting a bill. In 2018, Senate Bill (SB) 136 was passed during the general legislative session. This bill allows counties to institute a local option general sales tax to fund certain transportation needs such as parking, trails, roads, sidewalks, public transit, park and rides, bus and rail service, and traffic and pedestrian safety features. Prop 1 During the 2015 election, voters had the option to vote on Proposition (Prop) 1. A quarter-cent sales tax would be implemented to fund transportation needs. The funds collected from that tax would be split: 40 percent to cities and towns, 40 percent to transit districts and 20 percent to the counties. For counties without public transportation, the split would exclude transit districts. Out of the 29 counties in Utah, 17 included Prop 1 on their ballot, including Beaver, Box Elder, Carbon, Davis, Duchesne, Grand, Juab, Morgan, Rich, San Juan, Salt Lake, Sanpete, Sevier, Tooele, Uintah, Utah and Weber. Out of those 17 counties, 10 voted in favor of Prop 1. Salt Lake, the most populated county in the state, voted in opposition. Prop 1 failed in Salt Lake County with a 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent vote. After the election, it was widely believed by legislators and locally elected officials that corruption in the Utah Transit Authority was the primary reason Prop 1 failed. SB 136 Senate Bill 136 is a 222-page document, which amends 43 chapters of Utah Code, enacts 9 sections of Utah Code and repeals one chapter of Utah Code. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Wayne Harper and Rep. Mike Schultz. It underwent six substitutions while in session and was signed by Gov. Gary Herbert on March 22. The bill went into effect on May 8. This bill allows all counties in the state to impose a quarter-cent sales tax for transportation funding needs. Outlined in the bill were multiple options for counties and cities wishing to impose the new sales tax. Option 1: If a county imposes the quarter-cent sales tax before June 30, 2019, the county may keep all the funds collected during that first year to pay debt service or fund regionally significant transportation projects. By July 1, 2019, the funds collected from the tax are split, distributing 40 percent to cities and towns, 40 percent to transit districts and 20 percent to the county. (Sound familiar?) Additionally,

Page 18 | July 2018

SB 136 allows counties to implement a new sales tax. It also makes significant changes to the Utah Transit Authority governance. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

counties may impose a new local option sales tax by July 1, 2019, for transit capital expenses and service delivery. Option 2: If a county does not impose the quarter-cent sales tax before June 30, 2020, then cities within that county that have transit services can impose the tax with their city. At that point, cities have the option to impose the full quarter-cent tax, from which the funds collected would be distributed half to the city and half to the transit district within that county. Option 3: If the tax is not implemented by June 30, 2022, by a county or city, it expires. Giving counties and/or cities authority to implement new sales tax is not the only thing SB 136 does. It also increases state hotel tax, state vehicle rental tax, registration fees for hybrid and electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicle registration fees. A transit transportation investment fund was also created under this bill. The TTIF is a new fund with the Utah Department of Transportation for statewide transit capital projects. After July 1, 2019, funds collected from state sales tax will be transferred to this fund. The legislature may also appropriate revenue into this fund. By fiscal year 2019, $5 million is estimated to be in this fund. SB 136 also makes significant changes to UTA. Instead of 16 part-time members on the board, UTA will have three full-time members. An additional board, the Local Advisory Board, was created with nine members. All powers and duties of the boards have been adjusted. The Transportation Commission was included within the bill as well. The commission

has been required to update criteria, proprieties, funding levels and capital developments. “In my heart of hearts,” Harper told the South Jordan City Council on June 5, “I believe that UTA is going to turn around and become far more responsive.” Salt Lake County Since Salt Lake County residents voted against a sales tax in 2015, the Salt Lake County Council passed an ordinance leaving the decision to impose the quarter-cent sales tax up to the cities. Ordinance No. 1829 — Enacting Chapter 3.09, Entitled Optional Sales and Use Tax to Fund Highways and Public Transit — was passed on April 24. Final adoption of the ordinance took place on May 1. The ordinance was “enacted to provide a source of revenue to provide its residents with public transit and safe highways, and the council directs that the provisions hereof be interpreted and construed to accomplish this stated purpose.” The quarter-cent sales and use tax upon retail sales within the county was levied under this ordinance. However, it would only go into effect once “cities, towns and metro townships representing 67 percent of the Salt Lake County population…have adopted a resolution supporting the imposition of the sales and use tax.” This means a collective of cities and townships making up two-thirds of the county’s population must pass resolutions in support of the tax by June 22, in order for the tax to be implemented this summer. Which is exactly what happened.

With the tax being implemented, money raised for transportation funds from this sales tax will equate to around $58 million countywide. Cities Cities within Salt Lake County’s jurisdiction include, Alta, Bluffdale, Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Herriman, Holladay, Midvale, Millcreek, Murray, Riverton, Salt Lake, Sandy, South Jordan, South Salt Lake, Taylorsville, West Jordan and West Valley. Salt Lake County also includes the townships of Copperton, Emigration Canyon, Kearns, Magna and White City. All the governing bodies for these municipalities have been discussing the tax and associated suggested resolution. Many city councils feel like their hands are tied. “As cities, we are fairly handcuffed with regard to how we are able to acquire new revenue,” said Holladay Mayor Rob Dahle during their discussion. “We are at the mercy of the state for these sorts of bones and crumbs, so when they throw them to us we are well-advised to take them.” In fact, cities were so well-advised to pass a resolution in support of the tax that the Utah League of Cities and Towns drafted and distributed a resolution where cities just had to fill in dates and names. Council members from many different cities were hesitant to show support to the resolution because of how their constituents voted on Prop 1 in 2015. “Two years ago when this went on the ballot, the voters turned it down,” said South Jordan Councilmember Patrick Harris. “People were campaigning against it. The county is asking cities to override residents’ votes.” “City council members are literally being bullied into overriding the will of their voters in order to have a piece of pie that the voters already spoke against,” wrote West Jordan Councilmember Zach Jacob in a Facebook post. Cities may get a bigger piece of that pie if they show support for the tax now. Now that the county can implement and collect this tax before July 2019, 100 percent of the funds collected from the tax go directly to the county. Since most of the transportation needs are city-specific, such as roads owned by various cities, cities would see almost all of that money back. “The county doesn’t have any roads, so that money will be distributed to the cities,” said Cottonwood Heights City Manager John Park. If the tax is imposed later than July 2019, the collected funds will be split: 40 percent will go to the cities, 40 percent will go to UTA and 20 percent will go to Salt Lake County. This means the cities would see less of the collected funds. Additionally, many councils are fearful that if they don’t pass a supporting resolution now, they may not see any money coming back to their city during the first few months of col-

West Valley City Journal

lection when the tax is imposed by the county. City Resolutions As of publication, six cities and three townships have passed resolutions in support of the county’s ordinance to impose the tax. Alta passed Resolution 2018-R-3, supporting the imposition of tax in 2018, on May 9. Holladay passed Resolution 2018-18 on June 7. Midvale passed Resolution 2018-R-25 on May 15. Millcreek passed its resolution on April 23. South Jordan passed Resolution R2018-19 on June 5. Taylorsville passed Resolution No. 1816 on June 6. Townships Emigration Canyon, White City, Magna and Kearns have all passed resolutions in support of the county’s ordinance. Copperton is still discussing and has yet to act on a resolution. Sandy and Draper cities proved to be the deciding factors with their support pushing past the 67 percent threshold. Draper leaders supported the tax in a 4-1 vote on June 19 while Sandy leaders supported it 4-3 after extensive debate. Herriman leaders discussed the suggested resolution on June 6 and will take action on June 20 during their general meeting at 7 p.m. at the Herriman City Council Chambers at 5355 West Herriman Main Street. Murray City officials passed a resolution of support on June 5. Salt Lake City leaders reluctantly passed the resolution on June 12.

West Valley City As the second largest city in both the county and state, all eyes were on West Valley City to see whether the council would support the tax increase. With such a large population, their support would have been a boost to reach the county’s desired 67 percent. But majority of the city’s elected officials were not in favor of the tax. Though they supported funding for roads, it was the process they found concerning. While Mayor Ron Bigelow, who is generally opposed to tax increases, expressed support for the tax. Unsure how the county would allocate funds, Bigelow said thought they would push their portion of the funds toward cities still growing. With West Valley City mostly built out, he said these funds “would be a significant increase towards taking care of our roads…we can’t keep up with them, they’re deteriorating.” These deadlines “are taken with a grain of salt,” said Councilmember Steve Buhler, and that he doesn’t “like being pushed by the legislature through the county to make these decisions.” While funding for their roads is needed, said Councilmember Lars Nordfelt, he said this wasn’t the right way to push it, especially after residents in West Valley City voted against this proposition (56 against vs. 43 for). Travis Barton also contributed to this article. l



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rifols donates more than plasma, gives $59,165 to Granite Education Foundation

Steve Raguskus grew up with a single parent. He had three younger sisters, the family was on welfare. They would receive food donated from the local food bank at the end of each month. His family would be sponsored by other families at Christmas where they were given shirts, jackets and shoes. “I’m that kid that (was) among the 65 percent at or below the poverty level,” Raguskus said. “So when I see what the Granite Education Foundation is doing, it’s very real, very personal to me.” Raguskus, the center manager for Grifols Biomat in Taylorsville, is referring to the Foundation’s efforts to address food insecurity in Utah. It’s why Raguskus and the Grifols Biomat Centers in Taylorsville and Sandy raised $59,165 throughout March to donate to the Granite Education Foundation and the nearly 70,000 students it serves in the Salt Lake Valley. The money will go towards providing clothing, coats, shoes, backpacks, underwear, socks, hygiene items, glasses, and additional needs. All for the kids.

WestValleyJ ournal.com

Brent Severe, CEO of the Foundation, said the almost $60,000 donated “was extremely generous.” “Businesses stepping forward helping to meet those needs makes a big difference in the education of these kids,” he said. For every person that donated plasma in March, Grifols donated $5 to the Foundation. Raguskus said it was “an opportunity” for donors “to give back twice.” “It’s going to help (the kids’) quality of life and help these kids’ mental well-being.” Grifols, a global healthcare company that produces essential plasma derived medicines, presented a large check to the Foundation in April. It was a moment not soon to be forgotten by Raguskus. “It was a humbling experience,” he said. “I joined Grifols (in 2015) because of my belief in why Grifols does what it does. It helps save lives on a global scale.” Severe met Raguskus in November 2016 and knows his upbringing. It was Raguskus’ background and passion, Severe said, that drove this campaign.

“He was one of those kids that received help, so he understands how important that is and believing and providing for these kids,” he said. This isn’t the only campaign Grifols works on. Last year they held their inaugural Cruisin’ for Charity Car Show. Their second car show will be on July 28 in the parking lot of the Grifols center in Taylorsville. It will feature partners from Granite Education Foundation; South Valley Services, a domestic violence shelter in West Jordan; and Rape Recover Center in Salt Lake City. It’s all to “bring awareness to these real things that happen to our community members, regardless of your class in society, how much you make, how much you don’t make,” Raguskus said. Building this cognizance for their donors and the community is part of why Raguskus joined Grifols.

“I felt they are socially responsible and they were giving a platform for my employees to give back,” he said. Needs are increasing in the Granite School District, according to Severe, and “they’re not going away.” Those interested in assisting the Granite Education Foundation can call 385-646-KIDS. To learn more about donating plasma, please visit www.grifolsplasma.com. Who knows, maybe one of those kids will in turn give back, just like Steve Raguskus. l

July 2018 | Page 19

“To Strengthen and Promote the Shared Interests of the Business Community”

Two programs to address hunger, help poverty By Jessica Ivins | j.ivins@mycityjournals.com

Representing the Business Voice in West Valley City, Taylorsville & Kearns Areas Contact Information: Barbara S. Riddle, CMP

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Page 20 | July 2018

Surprised expressions when it was announced that summer food vouchers for Burger King would be handed out. (Courtesy Brooke Porter)


n the last week of school, students heard the words, “Here are some vouchers for a free meal each week at Burger King.” The kids were a little excited to say the least. Facial expressions were the best demonstration of their gratitude. Sixty-five percent of Granite School District children qualify for free or reduced lunch. Summer is an unsure time of year for some of the children when lunch is guaranteed at school. HB Boys, L.C. and Burger King are helping children to enjoy summer by relieving the stress of worrying about going hungry. HB Boys is a management company based in Salt Lake City that has been in business with 64 Burger King restaurants, 11 gas stations/convenience stores, six Costa Vida restaurants, six Beans and Brews and three subways throughout Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming. Students were surprised in their classrooms with vouchers for a free meal each week of the summer at one of six Burger King locations. The locations were chosen based on proximity to the schools with the highest poverty level. Some children gasped in unbelief. They gladly accepted the vouchers and posed in their Burger King Crowns. Granite Education Foundation serves the students and teachers in the Granite School District by addressing programs and providing basic needs such as food, clothing and school supplies. What do you do if you missed out on those Burger King vouchers, or if you have younger children? A summer dinner program that supports families in Salt Lake is here to help those that need it most, in the hungriest time of the year for children and youth ages 0–18. Utah Community Actions Central Kitch-

en supports the second program. Its mission statement is, “The primary goal of the Utah Community Action (UCA) Head Start Central Kitchen is to control the quality of food provided to Head Start children. The full initiative consists of a central kitchen that provides affordable, high-quality meals and snacks that are served in an environment that emphasizes modeling of healthy eating and providing positive reinforcement and education about new foods.” The summer program runs at three sites throughout Salt Lake County in West Valley, South Salt Lake and east Salt Lake. Dinnertime is Monday–Friday 4: to 6:30 p.m. and runs through Aug. 10 (excluding the July 4 and 24). Cathy Caputo Hoskins Head Start 6447 West 4100 South West Valley City, UT 84128 South Salt Lake Head Start 2825 South 200 East Salt Lake City, UT 84115 Magna Head Start 8275 West 3500 South Magna, UT 84044 The Head Start Central Kitchen started as a pilot program serving 300 meals a day in 2008 and has become a social enterprise serving more than 4,000 meals a day to schools and children in the community. During the summer, workers deliver 1,400 meals to children ages 0–18 each day. There are also enriching family activities at each Head Start location that are provided while children are being fed. Adult meals may be purchases for $3. “The season has just begun and it is going well,” said Mike Varanakis from the UCA Kitchen, “We usually see an uptake in the number of families we serve every year throughout the season as people find out about us.” One does not need to be a part of Head Start to partake of the meals. “Just show up and eat,” Varanakis said. l

West Valley City Journal

Highbury mobilization leads to townhome denial By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com


Dont Text & Drive

A row of parked cars spilled over from Pinnacle Apartments line Highbury Parkway. The cars are lined up next to a property where a proposal for 153 townhomes was denied. (Travis Barton/City Journals)


fter two months, multiple meetings, countless discussions and a unanimous vote; 153 townhomes will not be coming to the empty parcel of almost 13acre land at 5332 West Highbury Parkway. Both the West Valley Planning Commission and the West Valley City Council voted unanimously to deny a proposal from Garbett Homes that would have tripled the density from the property’s current designation of three to four units an acre. The denial by the council in June comes two months after a group of residents from the adjacent Highbury neighborhood mobilized to voice their opposition to the proposed development, down the street from Neil Armstrong Academy. Residents spoke at several city council meetings starting in April and then throughout May and June condemning the project as too dense. They cited issues stemming from nearby Pinnacle Apartments—which they opposed several years ago when it was built—such as parking and crime that would only increase with further density. Sight lines and accidents were cited as issues along what they deemed already crowded streets with cars parked on both sides of Highbury Parkway. Paul Garbett of Garbett Homes, in his public comments to both the planning commission and the city council, focused on the high-energy efficiency of their homes highlighting a HERS score—a metric of how green a home is built—that is twice as low as other builders. Each home, he said, is independently tested and

WestValleyJ ournal.com

certified by a third party. Garbett Homes has also won awards for their sustainability practices and energy efficient innovations, according to Paul Garbett. “We are the most energy efficient in the state of Utah,” he told the council saying they were building homes “for 2032.” Councilmember Lars Nordfelt said Garbett’s plan was “a great idea, the high efficiency homes. I hope we can find a way to make that work, but this is not the right place for higher density.” Solar would have been included in every home and a boat dock would be constructed next to the canal for residents to canoe. Developers attempted to mitigate the parking issue by increasing parking to 3.5 spaces per unit. But residents felt it wouldn’t make a difference to what is already happening. “(Garbett Homes) will already have a parking problem before even doing anything,” said Highbury resident Darren Blanchard before later adding, “If (the development) is twice as better and then double the amount of people, that’s a net zero. There’s no benefit for the city.” Blanchard explained the residents weren’t “opposed to energy efficiency, we’re opposed to multi family.” Various residents expressed trust in Garbett Homes as builders, but would like to see them put in single family homes rather than townhomes. The same energy efficiency standards could still apply to single family homes, Paul Garbett said, but the city’s current zoning and housing standards are “very restrictive” and felt the “market would not

support it.” City leaders have identified higher value homes as a priority to diversify housing within the city. It’s also meant to give residents who outgrow their smaller homes a way to stay in the city. Matt Macpherson, president of the Highbury neighborhood’s HOA, said he’s heard of families moving out of WVC due to a lack of larger homes. While quick to say he was not a builder, Macpherson felt the housing standards were not too strict. Serving as the de facto leader for Highbury’s opposition, Macpherson said the neighborhood began to mobilize after the problems persisted with Pinnacle Apartments. “Garbett can thank Pinnacle for this,” he told the West Valley Journal. Councilmember Lars Nordfelt commended the residents for their organization. “You’ve shown us what a great neighborhood you have by your participation in this discussion and this proposal.” But for Macpherson, this problem is only the beginning. With the undeveloped land and apartments and townhomes nearby, he expects this battle to be repeated. “This may be a fight we will fight, hopefully successfully, in the future,” Macpherson said. “And we may lose in the future or we may find a great home builder that’ll come in and build single family homes, and maybe Garbett will be the one to do that.” “It’s hard to say that this feels like a win,” he continued. “Because it really feels like it was phase one. We know for sure there is more to come.” l

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Free events to illuminate your summer fun




chool’s out for summer! Here’s a list of free events and activities to keep monotony out of the month of July. Festivals! Cities all across the valley host activities and events to celebrate our independence. Draper, Murray, Riverton, Salt Lake, South Salt Lake, and Sandy all hold their own celebrations for the Fourth of July. Bluffdale, Cottonwood Heights, and Holladay celebrate Pioneer Day with multi-day festivals and concerts. For more information on these festivals, refer to the Summer Festival Guide in the latest edition of the City Journals. Sandy will be hosting a balloon festival on August 10-11 at sunrise at Storm Mountain Park. These festivals highlight the magic of hot air balloons. Farmers Markets were quite the rage last year, with over 30 to choose from. On July 11, the Sugar House Farmers Market will be at Fairmont Park from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. On July 14, check out the Sunnyvale Farmers Market in Midvale from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. It will include a food pantry, free lunch and activities for kids, and music. Don’t miss one-night free events like: the Parade of Raptors presented by HawkWatch on July 9, at the Salt Lake Public Library Riverside Branch from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

On July 13, Trivia Night will be held at the Leonardo. Up to six people can sign up to be a team, or go solo! On July 10, the Local Author Showcase continues at The King’s English Bookshop. Jared Garret will introduce his new book, “Usurper.” On July 18, Yappy Hour will be at Fairmont Park. There will be an offleash play area for the dogs, and music, beer, and food trucks for the humans. On July 21, the Indian Food Fair will be held at the Gallivan Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Presented by Bollyfood lunch, there will be live entertainment, ethnic shopping, and of course, food! On July 28, Mindy Dillard will lead a songwriting workshop for teens ages 12-18 at the Salt Lake Public Library Sprague Branch, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Many free series-styled events will be held. Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. the Gateway will host Yoga on the Plaza in the Olympic Plaza. Shopping and food options will be available after yoga. July is Pacific Island Heritage Month. On the 28th, their annual KickOff will begin at 5 p.m. at the Sorenson Multicultural Center. This event has entertainment and activities from nine Pacific Island countries.

The Community Writing Center will be hosting FreeFest: a youth workshop series, at the Downtown Salt Lake Public Library, Suite no. 8. This series is intended for young adults ages 15-19. Four different workshops will be offered: on July 25, check out the XYZine, zine-making extravaganza. On July 26, learn basic bookbinding skills during the Book-Making Workshop. On July 27, EnTwined will teach you how to create a twine game. On July 28, check out Poetr?- make a mess of poetry and all things poetic. Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP) is offering a Kids Summer Passport. Get a passport (available to download online), earn five stamps by visiting destinations like the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, Salt Lake County Center for the Arts, and the Wasatch Community Gardens, by August 25. Show the fully-stamped passport at the local library to reserve a spot for a final party at the Clark Planetarium. The party

will be held August 30, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., with movies, popcorn, exhibits, and prizes. Our canyons also have fabulous options for getting outside. If anyone can do all the following hikes in one summer, let me know so I can be impressed. There’s Buffalo Point, Bloods Lake, Ensign Peak, Bridal Veil Falls, Golden Spike, Cecret Lake and Albion Basin, Willow Lake, Dooley Knob, Hidden Falls, Adams Waterfall, Patsy’s Mine, Grotto Falls, Donut Falls, Timpanogos, Brighton Lakes, Bell Canyon, Stewart Falls, Broads Fork Trail, Silver Lake, Battle Creek Falls, Diamond Fork Hot Springs, Mirror Lake, Fifth Water Hot Springs, Dripping Rock, Mount Olympus, Suicide Rock, Elephant Rock, White Pine Lake, Jordan River, and the Bonneville Shoreline, and Provo River Parkway. In conclusion, none of us have an excuse to be bored this summer! l

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West Valley City Journal

Life and Laughter—Girls Camp

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hat do you get when you have 25 teenage girls camping in tents? A motive for murder. I’m convinced every crazed serial killer roaming a summer camp, was once a mild-mannered camp counselor hoping to teach peace, love and kindness to a herd of snarling 15-year-old girls. While men can plan a Scout camp over a 4-hour Call of Duty session, women meet for months to plan an inspirational and life-changing camp that every single girl will whine through. Leaders schedule dozens of meetings to choose the theme (Let’s Get Dirty!), create the menu (Fun With Tofu!) and decide on the camp color (glittery unicorn pink). Once those main decisions are finalized, the real job begins: planning hours of activities to teach young women the importance of a) nature, b) bonding and c) indoor plumbing. An ordinary day at young women’s camp can look something like this: 6 a.m.—Flag ceremony and motivational singing 6:15 a.m.—Breakfast/clean-up/ inspirational stories/singing 9:00—Nature hike/Identify native plants/singing Noon—Lunch/Clean-up/singing 1:30-3:30—Glittery art project to

encourage sisterhood/singing 3:30-5:30—Journaling/free time/ singing 5:30-8:00—Dinner/clean-up/ singing 8:00-10:00—Campfire/uplifting stories/singing 10:30—Lights out/quiet singing An ordinary day at young women’s camp actually looks like this: 6 a.m.—Leaders go from tent to tent, waking up girls who spent the night vaping in the woods. No singing. 7:48—Quick flag ceremony followed by burned oatmeal, cooked in a Dutch oven. Inspirational stories interrupted by young women fighting because someone’s journal is missing and, “I know it’s you, Jessica, because you’re such a $#*$&!” Girls are ordered to get ready for the day. 11:17—Hiking! But everyone’s waiting for Angela to finish curling her hair with her butane curling iron because she will NOT be seen looking like a hillbilly in case she runs into lumberjacks wandering through camp. 2:25—Having been chased by a moose, the hikers are now lost and trying to figure out how to get cell service in the middle of the Wasatch Mountains. Leaders consider making a break for it, leaving the girls to wander the wilderness forever. No singing.



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4:58—Leaders have bagged the art project and journaling, and have moved onto the dinner part of the program. Girls are napping in various locations and refuse to help prepare any meal. Leaders consider a mass poisoning but decide against it because they’re too tired. 8:20—Dinner is finally served. The girls are STARVING and complaining that dinner wasn’t ready hours ago. A few girls half-heartedly sing two camp songs before everyone sits and stares into the campfire. Someone is crying. It’s one of the leaders. 11:45—Girls are told to stop talking because people are trying to sleep. Someone is singing. 1:35 a.m.—The girls are told, for the millionth time to, “Shut the $%&$ up or I’m going to dismantle your tent and you can sleep under a tree!!!” 4:17 a.m.— Everyone is crying. 6:30 a.m.— Someone asks when breakfast will be ready.




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Repeat for five more days. (Note to CIA: If you decide to torture me by making me camp with teenage girls, please, just waterboard me instead.) At the end of camp, the girls’ matching shirts are covered with mud and glitter. No one is smiling. Even Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees wouldn’t approach this scene. No one is singing. But girls’ camp is like childbirth. Once it’s over, you only remember the good parts, and soon leaders are optimistically planning the next camp with even MORE glitter, MORE bonding and MORE singing. The men slowly shake their heads and return to Call of Duty. l


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1655 S Redwood Road, Salt Lake City UT 84104 UberEATS 5571 S Redwood Road, Salt Lake City, UT 84123 UberEATS 2310 E 2100 S Salt Lake City, UT 84109 UberEATS 242 S 700 E Salt Lake City, UT 84102 UberEATS 3289 Valley Street Salt Lake City, UT 84109 UberEATS 916 W North Temple Salt Lake City, UT 84103 UberEATS 935 E 2100 S Salt Lake City, UT 84106 UberEATS

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1780 W 7800 S, West Jordan, UT 84084 UberEATS 3963 W 9000 S, West Jordan, UT 84088 UberEATS 4601 W 6200 S, West Jordan, UT 84118 UberEATS 5706 W 7800 S, West Jordan, UT 84081 UberEATS 3497 S 5600 W, West Valley City, UT 84120 UberEATS 3464 W 3500 S, West Valley City, UT 84119 UberEATS 5338 S 5600 W, West Valley City, UT 84118 UberEATS


*starting from $480,000

*starting from $530,000

3700 South 6400 West | West Valley City, UT 84128

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MODEL NOW OPEN Noon – 6pm Weekdays


10am – 6pm Saturday

• 61 “Residential Estate” parcels (15,000 SF average parcel size) • Home prices starting at $399,900 • Conveniently located near Mountain View Corridor and many commercial amenities • Neighborhood park within development • All ramblers offer 2,000 square feet minimum on main floor • Two-story homes have a minimum of 3,000 square feet above grade

Closed Sunday

• Six rambler floor plans and six two-story plans available from Arcadia Builders • 3-Car garage required with every floor plan • “Build your own floor plan” option available • Designed and developed by Arcadia with over 17 years of housing developments in Salt Lake County • Beautiful mountain, lake, and valley views

For more information and house plans, visit our website: www.newtonfarm.com or give us a call: 385-355-4790