During the final step of the June budget adjustment this evening, the Salt Lake County Council approved up to $7 million to support Shelter the Homeless and $8.4 million in water conservation projects.
“Shelter the Homeless is crucial to provide shelter and services for people experiencing homelessness across the county,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “This funding will allow them to focus on their mission to provide meals, safety, and solutions.”
Salt Lake County’s funding, along with funding from the state and private donations, will eliminate the funding shortage from the building of three new homeless shelters which opened in 2019. During the 2022 Utah legislative session, the legislature appropriated $5.8 million, with a match from Salt Lake County required, to assist Shelter the Homeless in meeting its debt obligation. Mayor Wilson proposed a contribution to Shelter the Homeless in an amount slightly greater than what is expected to be required to allow for flexibility and ensure the support completely fills the gap.
“Anytime Salt Lake County can pay off debt early and save the taxpayers money in the long run, is a positive move,” said Salt Lake County Council Chair Laurie Stringham. “The opportunity to also address and bring attention to the issue of homelessness is a bonus.”
The council also approved Mayor Wilson’s proposal to convert three sports fields to artificial turf (at a cost of $6.2 million) and to flip 142 parking strips at 40 different county facilities (at a cost of $2.2 million). Flipping the strips will save approximately 5.3 million gallons a year and converting the fields will save an estimated 6.5 million gallons a year.
“By saving millions of gallons of water each year, Salt Lake County is doing our part to conserve water. We hope more businesses and residents will be inspired to take action when they see the new fields and parking strips, too. If we all do a little, we can save a whole lot,” said Mayor Wilson.