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No Salt Lake City Parks Bond on the Ballot This Election


There will be no bond measure to expand outdoor recreation in Salt Lake City. The city council failed to garner enough votes at last night’s meeting to put the measure on the November election ballot.

The 7-member-council needed five votes to bring a bond measure to voters this fall. After months of negotiations, they considered two proposals: councilor Erin Mendenhall pitched a $100 million bond that would go toward converting the Glendale Golf Course into a regional park, river access projects, trails and other improvements. Councilor Luke Garrott’s $58 million version left Glendale open for the foreseeable future. 

Mendenhall argued not passing a bond means lost recreation opportunities for residents and the continued loss of money from golf courses. 

“It truly is a recreational form that is on the decline,” Mendenhall said. “And we are a city that owns a multitude of golf courses. The reality is that we aren’t actually meeting all of the recreation desires of our public.”

Councilor Charlie Luke cast his “no” vote on both proposals remotely. He called them both wish lists, adding neither address existing and ongoing maintenance needs in the city.

“And it would be improper, in my opinion, for me as a council member to put something on the ballot that is not complete and is not a full package,” Luke said.

Mayor Ralph Becker said early Tuesday, it’s not appropriate to use bond money to cover maintenance. He released a statement saying he didn’t support the bond at this time because it needed more work and worried that it would compete with Salt Lake County’s ballot measure that would raise sales taxes to pay for transportation needs.   

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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