Quarterly Newsletter - November 2023
Executive Director's Corner
I love this time of year because it provides such a great opportunity for reflection. As we close out a strong 2023, I'd like to highlight a few of MAG's great accomplishments. We've seen many long term projects come to fruition, like the publication of the Unified Transportation Plan and approval of the 2023 Regional Transportation Plan, the addition of Eagle Mountain and Orem to MAG's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) management portfolio, recruitment and development of the Meals on Wheels Program non-profit board, and the addition of a Local Administrator Program to assist those jurisdictions within our region that have a population of less than 10K and no full time city administrator. Our 18th Annual Caregiver Conference was a huge success with a record number of attendees. We also saw great participation in our annual Senior Health Challenge, encouraging seniors to improve their health and mobility.

In addition to reflection, this time of year is traditionally known as a time of giving. I would be remiss if I didn't encourage everyone to find a way to give back, by donating money, time, or service to the organizations that best serve their communities. Meals on Wheels, and its associated non-profit, has a special place in my heart as MAG has proudly facilitated the delivery of meals to our beloved seniors in Summit, Utah, and Wasatch Counties since 1974. If you have the capacity to do so, please check out https://mowsuw.org/ to see how you can help! Utah is an incredible state, with so much to be grateful for, and I know our efforts to help those around us can be equally incredible.

I wish a very happy holiday season to all of our board members, elected officials, clients, and partners.

Utah’s Transportation Partners Release Statewide Transportation Plan
Utah’s Unified Transportation Plan addresses growth and increases access to opportunities while preserving quality of life

After four years of close collaboration and planning, transportation partners from across the state released Utah’s 2023 Unified Transportation Plan, with the primary goal of preserving and enhancing quality of life in Utah even as we grow. “Utah’s great quality of life keeps generations of families here and attracts many new residents every year. Careful, collaborative transportation planning is key to ensuring safe, efficient, and comfortable travel for all Utahns,” said Governor Spencer Cox. “Community health, economic vibrance, and livability are closely linked to travel choices–from walking and biking to riding transit to driving. We’re committed to giving Utahns options and building a system that supports individuals, families, and communities throughout our great state.”

Utah’s Unified Transportation Plan is comprehensive in that it identifies priority statewide transportation needs across all modes of travel from now until 2050. It expands capacity to meet Utah’s growth by planning for new bike and pedestrian paths; increased frequency of transit service and new transit options via bus and rail; and new or upgraded state and local roads. The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), Utah Transit Authority (UTA), and metropolitan planning organizations which include Cache MPO, Dixie MPO, Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG), and Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC), all contributed to the creation of the Plan, in collaboration with cities and counties, legislators, business and community organizations, and other stakeholders.

On the heels of a significant boost in support and desire for active transportation options, particularly from the State of Utah, this updated plan outlines the planning and funding of walking, biking, and other trail projects in more detail than previous plans- a tribute to the state’s commitment to providing a variety of travel choices.  
As Utah’s Unified Transportation Plan is implemented, Utahns will experience more ways to get to their destinations. The Plan provides transportation alternatives to improve health, safety, and air quality. It boosts transportation efficiency and better connects Utahns to their jobs and other destinations.

By implementing the Plan:

  • Utah households will on average experience 5.8 fewer days driving, freeing up time for other activities. 
  • Utah’s economy will strengthen through increased investment in infrastructure, with each dollar invested multiplying 2.5 times through economic and job growth. 
  • Utah’s GDP will grow by approximately $247 billion and more than 271,000 jobs will be added.
  • Utahn’s will breathe cleaner air, with a projected statewide reduction in emissions of 13%.
  • 4,700 active transportation pathway miles will be added in Utah, roughly equal to the distance of riding your bike from Salt Lake City to Boston and back again.

Beyond community and statewide benefits, this edition of the Plan features stories about real Utahns who have benefited from Utah’s transportation system in everyday ways. These stories are threaded into the Plan. 

Previous versions of the Plan have been nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Transportation as a national model for being collaborative, comprehensive, and demonstrating the principle that collaboration brings superior results. "Investing in our roads, pathways, and transit today for increased transportation choices tomorrow will help ensure that Utahns across the state enjoy great quality of life and economic opportunity well into the future," said Provo City Mayor and MAG MPO Board Chair, Michelle Kaufusi. 

Learn more about the Plan by visiting unifiedplan.org.
Regional Opportunity Councils Call for Projects
Does your city or town have a critical need or project that requires a little more horsepower to accomplish? MAG, in partnership with various state agency partners, seeks to connect local governments with state resources to meet these challenges. Called ‘Regional Opportunity Councils’, these interagency teams can help tackle community infrastructure expansions; economic development initiatives; new transportation facilities and mobility services; the development of new recreational areas/facilities; affordable housing projects; natural hazard mitigation; and/or various other project types.  

Regional Opportunity Councils begin by gaining a technical understanding of local needs and challenges, and then work to bring essential resources to the table. Work activities may include planning, coordination, funding, and the elimination of physical, technical, and policy-based obstacles. 

To be considered in the initial round of projects, please submit your project ideas by December 22, 2023, using the REGIONAL OPPORTUNITY COUNCILS PROJECT NOMINATION FORM. Contact Dan Wayne, Community Planning Manager at [email protected] for additional information. 
Local Administrative Advisor Program
What is the LAA Program?
In the 2023 General Legislative Session, funds were allocated to create the LAA position, which is now tasked with helping Utah's smallest cities and towns create policies, processes, and programs to, well, help you "city" better. MAG has 19 eligible cities and towns- those cities that have fewer than 10,000 residents, lack a full-time, experienced administrator, and are members in good standing of the ULCT.

What can the LAA do?
Here’s a list of a few ideas!
  • Advise city and town leaders on personnel matters, budgets, agendas, resolutions, policies, and procedures.
  • Facilitate discussions with city leaders in creating goals and objectives for the community. 
  • Create templates for meetings, staff reports, enacting ordinance/resolutions, personnel reviews.
  • Examine internal programs and procedures for the city or town. 
  • Establish and monitor city budgets to accomplish goals and objectives for state compliance, including status review to encourage the meeting of citywide needs and public accountability. 
  • Connect cities and towns with possible resources to accomplish land use goals and objectives.

How do we request assistance from the LAA?
If you are an eligible city or town, the QR code will take you to a self-audit we’ve developed. 

Once the self-audit is complete, or if you have any questions, reach out to Shari Phippen, Local Administrative Advisor: [email protected] or (801)634-2763.
Parking Modernization Guide
Parking dynamics in our cities are in flux with the revolutionary changes underway in how people live, work, and get around. The “telework transformation”, Uber and Lyft, “Amazonization”, the COVID-19 bike boom, scooters, and Greenbike are some of the words we use now that were largely not around just a decade ago. To keep up with the times, communities and developers need to re-assess approaches to parking in order to better fit these new conditions. In other words, we need to modernize our parking.

A partnership of the Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC), Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG), Salt Lake County, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), and the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), and communities along the Wasatch Front partnered to launch the Utah Parking Modernization Initiative (Initiative).

The Utah Parking Modernization Initiative starts with a re-assessment of parking data and strategies to help communities in Utah:

  • Catch up on new trends that affect parking and mobility 
  • Identify ways to make parking more efficient 
  • Modernize their approach to managing parking consistent with their own unique goals for the future 
  • Think through how to address varying contexts. Each community has varying and distinct parking needs and issues. Recognizing how context affects parking is key.

Contact Shauna Mecham [email protected] if you'd like to learn more.
Provo Pedestrian Bridge Completion
Utah Transit Authority (UTA), in partnership with Provo City, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Provo Pedestrian Bridge. The bridge spans two FrontRunner tracks and two Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) tracks, at approximately 600 South and 100 West in Provo. This pedestrian bridge provides a more efficient and safe alternative to access the Provo FrontRunner station. Additional improvements include pedestrian access to the structure.

Facilitated by MAG, the project was funded by a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded to UTA with matching local funds.
Small Business Success Story
Chelsea Reece Inc.

What started as a school project became a viral sensation when Teresa Jack’s solution to wardrobe malfunctions on the dance floor connected with millions on TikTok.

Teresa came to our Small Business Loan Fund with barely five months of operations and unsure how she would get funding to grow her business. She had hundreds of orders for dresses designed to twirl (safely) and was in the middle of a crash course in MBA education. Chelsea Reece Inc. was born as a lifestyle company by a true entrepreneurial founder with grit and determination.

Teresa’s burgeoning startup was not eligible for a traditional loan, which typically requires at least two years of revenue—that is where MAG’s Small Business Loan Fund came in. Our Board loved her enthusiasm and marketing expertise and approved a loan for $80,000. The loan enabled her to get through the next inventory cycle, fulfill orders, and grow her company. Weeks later, she is growing rapidly, with photoshoots in Paris, Disneyland, and other iconic places. We’re honored to have our Loan Fund be a part of empowering women-owned businesses to pursue their dreams!
SFHRP: Single Family Home Repair Program
Does your home need repairs? Home Repairs can be expensive and overwhelming! The goal of SFHRP is to assist homeowners with major or minor home repairs, improve accessibility, and increase your home’s energy efficiency.

Eligible Repairs
  • Roof replacement
  • Update plumbing, heating, and cooling
  • Electrical Systems
  • Replace Siding
  • Replace Broken or Inefficient Windows
  • Eliminate Health and Safety Hazards
  • Reduce Overcrowding
  • Add Accessibility Features
  • And more

Eligible Participants
  • Own the land and dwelling unit and occupy the unit as a primary residence
  • Earn less than 80% of the county AMI
  • Have current homeowners insurance 
  • Be up to date on property taxes
  • Live in Summit, Wasatch, or Utah Counties
*Mobile/Manufactured homes built before 1976 not eligible

Click on the images or contact Katie Mitchell at [email protected] to apply or learn more.
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program
RSVP (Retired & Senior Volunteer Program) is launching their annual food drive December 4 - January 4. In partnership with Community Action, RSVP is collecting food and new socks for distribution to those in need. Community Action distributes these donations to more than 85 organizations. The annual food drive is in recognition of the MLK Day of Service. To host a mini-drive, to donate, or for more information, please visit mountainland.org/souldrive.
Caregiver Conference
The 18th Annual Caregiver Conference was held on November 3, generously hosted by doTERRA. The keynote speaker, renowned presenter & relationship expert Dr. Matt Townsend, discussed "The ABC's of Caregiving." His remarks, as well as those of the other presenters, focused on the challenges, rewards, and resources involved in caring for loved ones who struggle to care for themselves. A special breakout track on dementia was featured at this year's event.

This year's event broke previous attendance records, with well over 450 caregivers attending in-person and virtually. A special thanks to our volunteers and sponsors who made the event such a great success!

If you or someone you know cares for a senior loved one, we hope to see you at the 19th annual conference next November.
The MAG family wishes you a very happy holiday season. We hope you are able to share this special time of year with friends and families, appreciating and reminiscing about a great 2023.