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The City Journals

Recap of 2018 legislative session and what it means to South Salt Lake

Apr 11, 2018 11:35AM ● By Holly Vasic

Jeni Carbonara’s husband after they purchased their Tesla. (Photo Courtesy of Jeni Carbonara)

The 2018 legislative session has ended and bills were passed that will benefit the City of South Salt Lake exponentially: 

SB235, pertaining to funds related to the Homeless Resource Center, that will help offset future public safety costs related to the shelter

HB216, relates to the Jordan River near the incoming shelter

HB369 will bring a boost to the city in tax revenue from Tesla and their building. Tesla’s ability to sell cars in Utah has been in limbo for some time, due to state laws. 

Senator Gene Davis sponsored South Salt Lake’s bill SB235 that provides financial support yearly to cities with homeless resource centers. SSL will receive the first 40 percent of funds, Midvale will receive 20 percent, and the remaining 40 percent is available for cities through grants they can apply for, SSL included. 

“Senator Davis had some heavy lifting,” South Salt Lake City Mayor Cherie Wood said. “He was amazing.”

The Mayor also appreciated all the work Representatives Joel Briscoe and Steve Eliason put in. “The last night of the session,” Wood said, “Representative Eliason got it passed.” 

Wood and her staff put significant effort as well into creating the bill, such as in-depth researching of other local homeless resource centers to come up with their proposal. With the South Salt Lake homeless resource center expected to open July 2019 the first funds will be released in March of next year. 

“That’ll allow us to get people on board,” Mayor Wood said. The city plans to hire 12 more police officers as well as 12 more firefighter paramedics. Wood did plan for the worst for the sake of the city. “If the homeless resource center, as its being described now, has all the resources onsite we are hopeful we won’t need all those funds,” Mayor Wood said.

Representative Mike Winder’s Jordan River Recreation Area bill, that also passed this legislative session, will be making upgrades and improvements between SR201 to 4300 South on the Jordan River that will also benefit South Salt Lake. 

“They’ll be investing in it, cleaning it up, adding amenities out there,” Wood said, with the half-a-million onetime up-front funding as well as a yearly half-a-million stipend. This new recreational area aims to be a place for residents to enjoy the stretch of the Jordan River Parkway with surrounding cities — including South Salt Lake, Millcreek, West Valley—having a say in where the money goes.  

HB369 which passed this legislative session, is allowing Tesla models to be on the lot in South Salt Lake on 2312 South State St. Tesla still cannot have vehicles on site that people can purchase and drive away but at least customers can now see and drive the models. Once customers are ready to buy they can purchase at that location and have their new ride shipped to them. “The benefit of that for South Salt Lake is that we now will be able to capture sales tax,” Mayor Wood explained. 

Jeni Carbonara and her spouse decided to buy a Tesla last fall and were fortunate enough to have had the chance to try out the car in Nevada. 

“I had test driven them in Vegas a bunch when I was down there for work with my husband,” Carbonara said. They wouldn’t have purchased the car if they hadn’t test driven one first. “Driving it was 100 percent the thing that convinced hubby he had to have it.” 

The breadth that these three significant bills impacting South Salt Lake and its residents is currently unknown but Mayor Wood is satisfied with the turnout thus far.