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Millcreek Journal

Millcreek mayor pledges unity, progress amid impending challenges

Apr 09, 2024 01:06PM ● By Sara Milano

Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini speaks to the audience gathered in the new town hall building during his state of the city address. (Source City of Millcreek)

Millcreek residents and city staff gathered on Feb. 26 to hear Mayor Jeff Silvestrini reflect on the past, present and future of the young city in his annual state of the city address. “I’m pleased to report that the state of our city, the state of your city, is sound,” he told the audience. 

Throughout the 50-minute speech, Silvestrini spoke about the contentious gravel pit in Parley’s Canyon, local infrastructure improvement projects, solutions for homelessness, and changes to the structure of the Unified Police Department. 

Silvestrini began by condemning the proposed Parley’s Canyon gravel pit, saying “Millcreek will be better if there is not a gravel mine in Parley’s Canyon.” The contentious project would see a 634-acre limestone quarrying and gravel pit erected approximately 2 miles from the base of Parley’s Canyon. 

Residents and local lawmakers object to the project due to concerns over air quality, carcinogenic dust, pollution to the watershed, water waste, and disruption of recreation and animal life in the area. Silvestrini reported that the effects of the gravel pit will be assessed in an interim study released in September 2024. “We’re hopeful that we’ve beaten that beast back,” he said. 

He emphasized improvements to Millcreek’s infrastructure, including a roundabout for entrance onto I-215, new sidewalks on 3300 South, and a new multiuse path on 3900 South to increase pedestrian access to TRAX, Salt Lake Valley’s light-rail system. 

In the coming year, the city plans to build a bike path on Wasatch Boulevard, install bike lanes and sidewalks on 900 East and 2000 East, and construct 10 new pickleball courts in Canyon Rim Park, which “have been requested by residents of our community for years.” Silvestrini also emphasized the importance of pedestrian safety and his concern over the prevalence of auto-pedestrian accidents. 

Silvestrini also reflected on Millcreek’s collaborative effort with Salt Lake County in “doing the right thing” to host a temporary overflow shelter at the former Calvin Smith library last winter. The mayor noted that reports of crime in the neighborhood surrounding the shelter went down from the previous year and expressed his contentment that the shelter had broad support from the community. He expressed the importance of caring for the unsheltered community, reminding the audience that people experiencing homelessness “are our neighbors.” West Valley City is hosting the overflow shelter for Utahns this winter at a former state liquor store on Redwood Road.

While highlighting great accomplishments of the previous year and upcoming improvements to the city, Silvestrini also noted the city would face challenges in the coming year. One such challenge is a state-mandated reorganization of the Unified Police Department, as a result of which the County Sheriff and Salt Lake County will have to exit the department by July. Due to this lost partnership with Salt Lake County, Millcreek will likely face increased costs in policing that may result in a tax increase for residents. 

As Silvestrini concluded his annual address, he reminded the audience that Millcreek “is a great place to live” and expressed his pride in serving as mayor. λ