Mayor declares Murray strong despite challenges
Apr 09, 2018 04:22PM ● Published by Shaun Delliskave
Mayor Blair Camp hopes to start downtown Murray’s redevelopment this year. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)
Mayor Blair Camp presented his first State of the City address at the Feb. 20 Murray City Council Meeting. Camp said, “Let me begin by saying the state of Murray City is strong and sound, but not without challenges.”
The Mayor paid tribute to former Mayors Ted Eyre and Lynn Pett, who both passed away in 2017. He also saluted former Chief Building Official Gilbert Gonzales, who died last August after battling cancer.
The City Council received a copy of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) prepared by the Finance Department staff. Camp credited the Finance Department’s work for a recent upgrade in the city’s bond credit rating from AA- to AA, which will save the city money on future bond payments.
In spotlighting the Parks and Recreation Department, Camp remarked that swim lessons were the city’s biggest youth program, with approximately 3,600 participants. The recreation staff offered 62 recreation programs in 2017. Daily admissions to the outdoor swimming pool totaled nearly 39,000 patrons. The new pickleball courts were opened for use in October, and the city is close to a resolution with the contractor’s bonding company to finish the lighting.
Camp noted a recent visit to the Heritage Center: “Just last week, Councilmember Dale Cox and I had the experience of leading the YMCA song with the lunchtime crowd. I’m grateful that there was no video, at least not that I’m aware of!”
He also highlighted the issuance of 445 new commercial business licenses and 144 new home-based business licenses in 2017. The total number of licensed businesses in Murray City in 2017 was 3,951, an increase of 227 from 2016. The Building Division issued 2,010 building permits in 2017, an increase of 282 over 2016.
“I am enthusiastic about developments that are happening in Murray. The expansion of Fashion Place Mall, with a number of new stores and restaurants, continues to draw shoppers from around the region.”
A popular service provided by the city is passport processing. In 2017 the City Recorder’s Office processed 4,363 new passport applications, up from 2,506 the previous year, and 460 renewals up from 63 in 2016.
“Every year there is a push from some lawmakers to limit or take away local control from cities. As a city, we must fundamentally oppose such attempts at changes to the state laws that weaken the ability of local government to make local decisions, particularly zoning and land use issues. We must also oppose the continued attempts at redistribution of sales tax dollars.”
The city will be adding bicycle lanes to 700 West, from 5400 South to Winchester Street, this coming year. The city will add sidewalks and bike lanes on east Vine Street over the next two years.
“I want to state this evening that I support a more walkable and rideable community,” Camp announced. He intends to bring the Green Bike program to Murray City, particularly around transit stops, Fashion Place Mall and Intermountain Medical Center.
The mayor also plans to roll out a Murray City Adopt-A-Street program to enable organizations, businesses and individuals to volunteer to help maintain and beautify the streets of Murray. There are also certain gateways to Murray that will be aesthetically improved.
“I am optimistic about the future of Murray City, and I hope you are too. I look forward to many changes and improvements in the coming years as we all work together.”