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Department Goals and Recommendations for Cottonwood Heights City Council

Mar 09, 2016 11:46AM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Cassandra Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

Draper - With Fiscal Year 2017 fast approaching, weekly city council meetings have been jam-packed with much budgeting conversation. Department presentations involving financial goals and yearly initiatives were given in weeks prior to Feb. 16, which was the Cottonwood Heights City Council budget retreat, where the council took the recommendations presented below by the departments into consideration. 

Community and Economic Developer Director Brian Berndt presented goals for his department on Feb. 2. 

Within the last year, the department has been involved with the creation of the Cottonwood Heights Business Association (CHBA), which is now comprised of over 120 businesses that reside in Cottonwood Heights. The department is working toward getting every business in the city involved with the association, especially those with target industries. 

Last year, the department released a Cottonwood Heights Magazine, which had a broad base of interest. If the council wishes to produce the magazine again this year, it may cost approximately $12,000. 

New department software would serve beneficial for the employees with price tags ranging from $250 to $9,000. 

Another initiative the department proposed for funding within this year is the Neighborhood Improvement Program, which would cost between $15,000 and $25,000.The program would consist of distributing a neighborhood resource guide to the homeowners of the city, aiding in applying for grants involving neighborhood improvements, facades, vacant lot clean-up, planning and problem solving. 

The department plans on identifying and applying for grants that would aide in funding some of their projects. 

Other areas of focus for the Community and Economic Development Department this year include work products, food vendor licenses, solicitor’s license, branding campaigns and their very own economic webpage. 

Chief of Police Robby Russo presented budget recommendations and yearly goals for the police department on Feb. 2. 

Within the next year, the police department aims to recruit the best possible employees and keep them satisfied. There are five police officers at retirement age, so finding new employees is quickly becoming a priority. 

In the Utah State Legislature this year, there is a bill under consideration for body cameras to be worn by police officers of the state. In preparation, the police department has been researching what the budget for the cameras would look like. What they found was a price tag of $10,700 initially with $9,100 ongoing every year. This includes the body cameras, storage facilities, batteries and their own line in City Hall. 

Objectives for the police this year are to continue four minute response times, employee retention, career development, position grooming and special assignments. They are looking toward a 3-D Blitz program to see every officer make it home safely. 

The Cottonwood Heights Police are looking toward ways to improve the emergency management system for the city, as well as acquiring Narcan (or Naloxone), a nasal spray to use on opiate overdoses. It is described as an EpiPen equivalent, allowing the victim 90 minutes to make it to the hospital. For a box of two of Narcan, the cost is approximately $820. 

The proposed budget for the police department includes body cams at $91,160, animal control at $10,000, upgrading sergeants at $12,000, victim avocation at $19,000, Naloxone at $8,000 and a VECC (Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communications Center) increase at $3,600. 

Public Works Director Mike Allen presented for the public works department on Feb. 9. 

Out of 1,730 sidewalk and crosswalk ramps within the city, 279 are not compliant to code for slope or detection functions for the disabled. Repairing one ramp for code specifications would cost between $2,000 and $2,500. For each ramp to be repaired, it would add up to approximately $1 million of improvements for accessibility. 

Out of 2,204 street signs within the city, more than 300 need to be fixed for retro-reflectivity. 

Public Works would like to reduce the amount of debris in the streets, especially in fall, but Cottonwood Heights shares street sweeping services with three other cities, including Sandy and Murray. They are investigating other avenues for street sweeping. 

Before the city was incorporated, Salt Lake County maintained the infrastructure for the Cottonwood Heights area. Allen said that the county did not adequately keep up on the maintaince, leaving the city drowning in improvements. Currently, there are approximately 31,000 feet of storm drains in the city that has been cleared, but there are some blockages that need immediate attention. 

Asphalt for the roads of Cottonwood Heights was discussed through the Pavement Code Index (PCI). A road recently paved, such as Bengal Boulevard, is considered being 100 PCI. In order to get every road in the city up to 100 PCI, it would cost approximately $80 million. To get every road in the city up to 80 PCI, it would cost $8.4 million. While Public Works is aware that these ideals are unattainable, the information was presented as a reference for the city council. 

Goals for the public works department this year include determining where asphalt needs to be repaved, right of way maintaince, risk management, overall safety for the city, repairing trip hazards and focusing on emergency preparedness. 

Long-term goals for the public works department include maintaince of parks and trails, road maintenance, becoming more self-providing, repairing storm drains, miscellaneous repairs and budgeting fairly. 

The proposed budget for public works included requests for small equipment, a new public works yard and TerraCare. The costs for maintaince would be around $1.365 million. 

Finance Director Dean Lundell presented for the finance department on Feb. 9. 

The Finance Department aims to identify additional budget options, identify savings, revenue models for land use and improve capital project reporting. 

An option for data storage would cost approximately $6,600, and an interactive finance reporting system acquired for transparency within the city could cost approximately $6,500 if the city leaders decide upon buying.

There is an extra pay period within this next fiscal year which may present itself to be an extra expense for the city. Increasing payments for Unified Fire workers  and personal pay plans have a recommended cost around $48,000.

Assistant City Manager Bryce Haderlie presented for the Cottonwood Heights administrative servies. 

Administrative goals include an accident review committee, risk management, reducing claims, improving an emergency plan for Butlerville Days, creating an easier process for special events permits, creating a stronger volunteer group, emergency preparedness (including the citywide shakeout event), emergency operations for the new City Hall, increasing the employee death benefit and a sidewalk program. 

A salary adjustment may cost $1,500 and the emergency management recommendation around $4,000. 

Budget Retreat for the Cottonwood Heights City Council was held on Feb. 16. The council determined ways for city staff to provide better customer service and how that may affect every department. The council also discussed which of the above-proposed budget items should be approved.

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