RIVERTON REVIEW Official Newsletter of the Riverton, Utah City Government MAYOR’S MESSAGE
UTA Service is Inequitable By Mayor Trent Staggs Since being appointed by the Council of Governments (COG) in February to represent the southwest Salt Lake County region on the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) Local Advisory Council, I have discovered there is enormous inequity in service delivery and public transit access in Salt Lake County.
Further, Salt Lake City has 48% of rail stations in Salt Lake County while southwest cities have only 5%. As proof of the inequitable access to public transportation between these two regions, Salt Lake City accounted for 50% of all UTA boardings across all modes in Salt Lake County in 2021 where southwest cities accounted for just 2%.
Perhaps even more disturbing is a review of geographic financial contribution compared to service. UTA operations are funded largely by sales tax dollars collected from taxable sales in each city that are dedicated to mass transit. Based on a cost per ride and mode review, it costs an estimated Salt Lake City, with just over $27.4 million more than what Salt 200,000 people, or 1,817 people Lake City generates in sales tax per square mile, accounts for 17% to provide their UTA service. In of the population of Salt Lake contrast, southwest cities generate County. The southwest cities of $21.1 million more in Bluffdale, Herriman, sales taxes for transit Riverton and South “Despite the roughly than it costs to deliver Jordan, with just equal population their current level of over 202,000 between these two UTA service. This is people, or 2,996 areas – Salt Lake City inequitable and blatantly people per square has 32% of bus stops unfair. mile, collectively in Salt Lake County account for 17% of I believe our goal should while southwest the population of be to have an equitable the county. Despite cities have only 2% of public transit system the roughly equal bus stops.” that provides reasonable population between access to those who these two areas contribute to its operation. After all, – and even denser southwest the more people who use public population – Salt Lake City has transit, the less congestion we have 32% of bus stops in Salt Lake on our roads and the better our County while southwest cities have air quality will be due to reduced only 2% of bus stops. The cities of emissions. Unfortunately, we are Riverton, Herriman and Bluffdale far from that goal right now. do not have a single bus stop!
RIVERTON REVIEW | NOVEMBER 2022
Percentage figures are based out of the total of Salt Lake County. Population figures are from the 2021 U.S. Census estimate. Ridership and service figures are based off of data provided to Riverton City by UTA on September 1, 2022.
Population figures are from the 2021 U.S. Census estimate. Land area in square miles comes for the 2020 U.S. Census listing. People per square mile is calculated by dividing the population by the number of square miles.
I call upon the UTA Board of Trustees and the Utah State Legislature to conduct a full analysis and audit of UTA service and finances to identify inequities in service and lack of access in various geographic regions in UTA’s service area. This audit and analysis should also include cost effectiveness and use of each mode of transit offered by UTA. I encourage those concerned about this inequity to reach out to their state representatives,
state senators and the UTA Board of Trustees to express their concern. I’m confident that southwest Salt Lake County isn’t the only region served by UTA that has incredibly poor access and is massively subsidizing the UTA system elsewhere. Solutions must be put in place that increase access and make the system more geographically equitable. Express bus lines on major east-west and north-south roads in the southwest area would be a good start.
It’s Been an Honor to Serve ELECTED OFFICIALS Trent Staggs - Mayor Sheldon Stewart - District 1 Troy McDougal - District 2 Tawnee McCay - District 3 Tish Buroker - District 4 Claude Wells - District 5
CITY MANAGER David R. Brickey
UPCOMING CITY MEETINGS CITY COUNCIL November 15, December 13, 7 p.m. PLANNING COMMISSION November 10, December 8, 6:30 p.m.
By Councilmember Sheldon Stewart As I write this article, it is a somber moment, as I will soon be ratified as the next Salt Lake County Council member that will represent Riverton as well as other cities in the southwest. As I look back, it reminds me of the great honor it has been to serve in this great community where I grew-up and where I will continue to serve in a slightly different role. It is my love and gratitude for what Riverton was, what is has become, and where it is headed that continues to motivate me to serve. During this time, the framework and structure of the community has changed with growth from the time when I was a kid to now. During my time on the city council, I have seen Riverton grow from around 30,000 residents to our current population of just under 50,000. We have faced many challenges that come with growth, and we have weathered these challenges well. We have
strived to be innovative in our thinking and in how we have dealt with this growth. We have been prudent not only in our financial decisions but also in our planning. The city instituted and adopted plans early on that would set the tone for the future. These plans have established an infrastructure and management plan that keep the future in mind as we address the needs of our community. As members of past, current, and future councils continue our attempt to look into the future and make decisions today that will benefit us in next 30, 40, 50, and even 100 years, we must balance the demands with the limitations that exist. We have worked to revitalize our historic downtown, grow, and develop the western portion of our city, and design infrastructure that satisfies our physical needs with water and roads, as well as the digital needs that have intensified in recent years. These are all programs established to benefit our residents and attract more businesses to our city. As I move on to the county, there
are several things that our residents need to be aware of that I will continue to fight as a representative of the southwest so we can continue to maintain this wonderful region. Key areas of focus will be addressing how southwest cities continue to subsidize the services utilized in the other areas of the county. This includes: • UTA – The cost per resident is ever increasing while access to services are reduced. • Salt Lake County Library – Utilization of physical services are reduced while costs are disproportionately assigned to Riverton with additional tax increases looming. • Unified Police Department – We continue to pay a subsidy through our county taxes that is ultimately offsetting costs for members of Unified Police Department. Moving on to the county, I will continue to be open to your feedback. I appreciate the confidence you have shown in me as I continue in a new role representing each of you.
CONTACT US rivertonutah.gov 801-254-0704
Report a problem at rivertonutah.gov/report
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RIVERTON REVIEW | NOVEMBER 2022
PUBLIC SAFETY MESSAGE
How 3-Word Phrases Help Emergency Response By Chief Wade Watkins “Has anyone ever heard of What3Words?” This is what my Chief (my boss) asked us at our last meeting. No one from my team had heard of it. After learning about it, especially being a first responder, I’m sold. Basically, a group of people mapped out every 3-meter square, or ap-
proximately 10 square feet, on earth with a unique three-word phrase. It sounds crazy but try it! I have been on countless calls where a hiker is hurt and stranded, or a medical emergency happens at a large event at a big venue, where it takes us time to locate the patient. Even large buildings with multiple entrances like high schools can delay first responders as we try to navigate to the emergency. I have also been on numerous emergencies where there is no address. We are directed as best as possible by our dispatchers by landmarks or mile markers, but sometimes emergencies are difficult to locate. With the app What3Words, we would have an exact location to respond to.
In Salt Lake County, the Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communication Center, who handles our 911 calls and dispatches our police and fire agencies, has been trained on the use of What3Words. You could give them the unique three-word phrase and they could communicate the location to us, or even the phrase itself for us to locate the emergency. After the 2017 earthquake in Mexico City, the Mexican government used the What3Words system to translate GPS coordinates into three-word locations that it shared with first responders to save people. If you have some time, check it out at www.what3words.com or in your app store on your phone.
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3 Reasons to Clean Up Fall Leaves
Vehicle Emergency Kit
Winterize Your Sprinkler System
1) Cleaning up leaves help keep Riverton beautiful. 2) Leaves block gutters and storm drains, increasing the likelihood of flooding. 3) Leaves end up in the river where they cause smelly water and harm fish habitat.
You never know when you will find yourself in an emergency on the road. With winter conditions just weeks away, now is the time to put together a car emergency kit. See details on what to include in your kit at linktr.ee/rivertonprep.
Now that secondary water is off for the season, make sure to winterize your sprinkler system to protect it from freezing in the cold winter temperatures. Drain backflow valves, open ball valves, and blow out sprinkler lines.
RIVERTON REVIEW | NOVEMBER 2022
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Holiday Donation Drive
Christmas Card Contest
Bring the kids to see Santa Claus arrive in Riverton! Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive at the park on a bright red fire engine. Children can greet Santa to make their Christmas requests and also write their letter to Santa that evening. There will be free scones, hot chocolate, marshmallow roasting, cookie decorating, crafts, and entertainment.
Riverton City is collecting holiday donations for The Christmas Box House – an organization dedicated to providing emergency shelter to children in need. Donations will be accepted from November 7 to December 12 at Riverton City Hall. Donated items must be new and unwrapped.
Riverton City is again holding a design contest to select the city’s official Christmas card! Children enrolled in an elementary school in Riverton OR who are of elementary school age who live in Riverton are invited to submit a card design in the contest. The creator of the winning Christmas card will receive a $100 Walmart gift card.
Monday, November 28, 6:30 p.m. Riverton City Park For more information visit: rivertonutah.gov/santa
Christmas Night of Music Concert
What to Donate: • Children’s Clothes • Children’s Sneakers • Educational Toys • Hair Brushes
• Body Lotion • Teen Clothing • Teen Shoes • Healthy Snacks
For a list of more items to donate, visit: rivertonutah.gov/holiday-donations
Register: Mission Slim Possible
Come enjoy all your favorite classic Christmas hymns at Riverton City’s annual Christmas Night of Music Concert! Free and open to all.
Join Riverton City’s Mission Slim Possible weight loss challenge to lose weight and start next year off right. Begins Wednesday January 4, 2023.
• Monday, December 12, 7 p.m. Riverton High Auditorium
• Register online at rivertonutah. gov/possible
Entry Deadline: Wednesday, November 16 For more information visit: rivertonutah.gov/christmascard
Riverton Tour of Lights
QPR Suicide Prevention Training
Couch to 5K Training Program
Show off your awesome Christmas light display by entering your home in the Riverton Tour of Lights. Your home will be placed on a tour map. Free to enter.
Attend a free QPR suicide prevention class to learn how to respond to someone in crises. Classes occur monthly, excluding July and December. Registration required.
Come participate in the Couch to 5K program to gradually build up your running ability from January 30 to March 25 in a positive, stress-free environment.
• Enter online at rivertonutah.gov/ tour-of-lights
• Thursday, November 17, 7 p.m., rivertonuutah.gov/qpr
• Register online at rivertonutah. gov/couch-to-5k
For details or registration information, visit rivertonutah.gov/recreation
RIVERTON REVIEW | NOVEMBER 2022