COMMUNICATION CONCERNS (06/08/2020)
Many canyon residents and visitors heard about the upcoming road paving project, and plans to limit bicycle travel on the main canyon road while paving work is underway, for the first time when they saw an electronic sign at the entrance to Emigration Canyon last Friday afternoon.
Public meetings, and community and township discussions on funding for the paving project, road engineering, safety concerns, and traffic constraints during construction have taken place over the last several years. However, we recognize that the fact that so many people were not aware of the project and its impact means that we need to do a better job of getting important information to residents and other canyon users. Your Emigration Metro Township Council apologizes to those who were taken by surprise with news of this upcoming project.
The work of the Emigration Metro Township Council is carried out in public, and we strive for transparency, as well as to act in the interest of, and representing, our entire community. We also recognize that as a new municipality, there are numerous ways we can improve what we do. Easier access to information about what we do and why, and more proactive communication on our part, are two important examples.
The Emigration Metro Township has no dedicated personnel or infrastructure, and operates all municipal services through the Greater Salt Lake Municipal Services District (MSD), the service provider for townships, towns, and unincorporated areas within Salt Lake County. (see msd.utah.gov for more information) Like Emigration Township, the MSD is a young organization, and working to develop the infrastructure which will allow its member communities to do all that they need to do. Several weeks ago, the MSD hired a full-time communications and media director. Emigration Metro Township looks forward to working with the MSD to better develop our website, as well as create new communication channels.
For now, we ask for patience and understanding as we work to meet these goals. We also invite your suggestions on how we can improve communications with canyon residents and other stakeholders. Email addresses for the five elected Metro Township Council members are currently listed at the bottom of the page under the “What We Do” heading. (* see note below)
One of the most difficult parts of planning the road paving project is attempting to balance the multiple, and sometimes competing, goals of safety, liability to both the Township and the paving contractor while hazardous machinery is in use, timely and efficient project work, maintaining transportation for canyon residents, minimizing inconvenience to residents, and maintaining recreation access for both canyon as well as non-canyon residents.
While all these goals are important, safety and liability concerns directly related to the paving work were given more weight in decision making, since the project has a limited time frame, and its completion will make all the other goals easier to realize. We recognize that some decisions related to the project may be unpopular; we hope that all canyon residents and users understand that no decisions were made lightly, or without considering alternatives. Emigration Township officials continue to meet with the paving team, engineers, and UDOT personnel with the goal of minimizing impact and restrictions for all canyon users. Where changes can be made that reduce inconveniences and delays, or increase access, they will be made. We will provide more information on this project, and any changes over its course, as soon as possible.
Your Emigration Metro Township Council thanks you for your understanding, and appreciates your patience and cooperation during the upcoming road project.
*The Emigration Metro Township website (ecmetro.org) may undergo revision, with the goal of providing more information and easier navigation. However, contact information for Emigration Metro Township Council members will be found easily.
To sign up for weekly updates please visit https://www.ecmetro.org/paving-project-2020.
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