Last week, Google Fiber hosted a special luncheon for Provo’s small businesses at the Shops at Riverwoods. This has quickly become one of my favorite events I get to participate in. Surrounded by Provo’s entrepreneurs, business owners and managers, I was able to talk about all of the great things happening in our city. It’s easy to brag about Provo and the quality of life we have here.
Often times I take for granted how readily available city updates and information are in my day-to-day life. I hear what’s happening and going on in the city and don’t always stop and make sure everyone else has the same level of understanding. This is actually one of the reasons why I started this blog. I wanted to be able to share city news and Provo happenings with everyone.
So on that note, I would love to recap Wednesday’s luncheon and share with you the topics I presented to our small businesses. I’ve organized them into seven different “Did you know” categories. Check out the list below and maybe you’ll learn something new.
Did you Know:
1. We’ve got a debate going on in our city about solar and it comes down to some tough issues. In Provo when you pay your power bill, you might not realize this but you are paying for a lot more than just the power you use. You are paying for streets, street lights, police and firefighters, etc. In our city this is one of the ways we fund these things and there’s some good reasons for that but we are able to do this and still provide a lower power bill than our neighboring cities. But because these things are paid for through your power bill, those who are reducing their rates by using solar are also reducing their contributions to these important city funds. We want to include solar and we want people to invest in solar but we also have to think through this issue of how do we contribute at a fair level for everyone. We are taking a 90-day discussion to find the right balance between these two competing issues. You can read more about the issue in a previous blog post here.
2. The new Provo Power Building is now complete after several years of planning, organizing and construction! This has been a monumental project for us and we are excited to share the history and heritage of Provo Power from its inception in 1940 through all the changes and progress made since then. Our new state of the art facility is LEED GOLD certified, which includes a large array of solar panels, and portrays our dedication to our customers that being energy conscious is important to us and adds value to our community. If you missed the open house last Thursday you can still stop by and check out the new facility. It’s located at 251 West 800 North.
3. Bulldog Boulevard is going through a major improvement project. Bulldog Blvd is not one of the more attractive streets in our city. Did you know that if you drive Bulldog you have 300% more likely hood of being in an accident than driving on any street of its nature in the entire state. It has unrestricted right turns and left turns all along the way. We are adding landscaped medians, protected bike lanes, and wider sidewalks. This is a huge quality of life issue and will change the nature of the road in a dramatic way and make it a pleasant road to drive on. You can see the renderings for the project here.
4. Provo’s Airport is the 2nd busiest in the State! That is pretty impressive. We have flights that fly to Mesa, Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego and they are all full. These are great, cheap flights for your family. If you haven’t flown out of Povo’s airport you might want to give it a try. You drive to the airport, you park across the street from the terminal, you walk into the terminal and everybody you see is on your flight. Visit flyprovo.com for more details.
5. Thanks to UTA we received some federal funding that will help us take the Provo River Trail (which now stops at Vivian Park) all the way up to Deer Creek.
6. We are working on a really cool mountain bike course at Slate Canyon Park. It is planned and funded and underway. What a lot of people don’t realize is how large the plans are for the rest of the park. It is a very large park and underway. More details can be found here.
7. Many of Downtown Provo buildings have received significant upgrades. Facades have had masonry repair, treatments to exterior finishes, painting repair, architectural details preserved, replacements of eaves, conduit, gutters, lighting, canopies, etc. Thanks to the Downtown Facade Grant, the Redevelopment Agency has been assisting downtown businesses in improving the appearance of their buildings to help revitalize Downtown Provo. See before and after pictures here.3