Tuesday morning, Salt Lake County Mayor Wilson presented her 2023 proposed budget to the Salt Lake County Council. The budget, which includes substantial one-time and carryover funds, takes advantage of federal pass-through to make significant investments in addressing homelessness, sustainability and water conservation, key community projects, and deferred maintenance.
“I was limited in my ability to create new ongoing programs, but thanks to one-time opportunities given to us by federal funding, my budget reflects my priorities and those of Salt Lake County residents: putting employees first, conserving water, protecting our air, public safety, our economy, expanding open space, and addressing homelessness,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson.
Mayor Wilson began the speech by thanking the nearly 7,000 employees of Salt Lake County and detailing the 2023 employee package, which includes an across-the-board 4% cost of living adjustment plus one-time compensation boosts of 4% for the lowest-paid employees, 3% for the middle grades, and 2% for the highest paid employees.
Key initiatives proposed this morning include:
An unprecedented $5 million dollar investment in open space funding
A $2.7 million investment in a pre-apprenticeship program to prepare workers for high-paying jobs in clean energy, broadband, transportation, manufacturing, and cybersecurity
A planning budget for a new Animal Services facility, animal park, and mobile clinic
Expanded trails and active transportation projects like safer sidewalk and bike improvements
Water-wise upgrades to irrigation infrastructure in County parks and facilities
More efficient and sustainable upgrades to County facilities, including an overhaul of the air conditioning and cooling system at the Salt Palace to move away from polluting freon
$2 million dollar investment in the Other Side Academy Tiny Home Village
$2 million dollar grant to support the capital costs of the Utah AIDS Foundation’s new community health center
A matched grant to Centro Civico Mexicano to support planning for a new center to replace the aging facility
$85 million in funding for deferred maintenance, the entire high-priority list as identified by the facilities team. This is the largest investment in deferred capital maintenance in county history. Some of these projects have been put off for more than a decade and improvements and replacements will improve the efficiency and sustainability of county facilities.
“The good news is that once-in-a-generation federal investments allow for transformational change in our community,” said Mayor Wilson.
Watch the address here, read the full text here, and view the full budget overview slide deck here. Now, the County Council begins its budget review process which ends with the final budget passage on December 6.