My Favorite PIO – Public Information Officer

She’s good, she’s fast and she saves my life several times a week.  
She’s Helen Anderson the City Public Information Officer and today she celebrated 3 years with the city.
Thanks Helen for being part of an awesome team!!
PS  I need a better picture of you

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Sales Tax Collections

Provo’s budget is highly dependent on sales tax.  The latest numbers just came in and the news is mixed.  Good news:  for the last three months we have averaged a two percent increase over last year.  Bad news:  the latest month reported (August) was down 2.5%.

Statewide the three month average was up 3.7%, due to August’s 10.6% gain.

The numbers below show the picture for the state.  The numbers are based on a three month average of June, July and August.  Check out Park City up 12%.

SLC up 5.7%
West Valley up 0.2%
Ogden up 0.4%
Sandy down -3.7%
Provo up 2.0%
St. George up 1.6%
Layton down -0.9%
Bountiful up 0.9%
Park City up 12.0%

Expect better numbers next month.
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Employee Benefits Committee

I’ve said all along that we have great employees and here is one more fact to back up my claim.
Under the direction of our employee association these employees have been working hard to bring clarity and understanding to our employee benefits package.
My thanks to Clint Roundy, Shellianne White, Kevin Taylor, Kat Linford, Kari Van Wagner and Sheree Baum who have all put their heart into this committee.
This Committee has worked hard to become educated about our insurance benefits and be a resource to other employees in making decisions that impact their families.  They have taken this responsibility seriously and demonstrated that they understand the importance of this information.
In the words of Julie Beck, Employee Association President, “We all realize these decisions are becoming more important and potentially more costly to the city and the employees.”
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Provo City Employees Do More Than Just Work Hard

Recently a handful of  Provo City employees came together as the Provo City Misfits for the Ragnar Relay race in Las Vegas Nevada.  The Ragnar is a 12 person relay race over two days.  The race began at the Valley of Fire State Park and ended at the Red Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.  Provo’s  team ran a total of 194.3 miles beginning on the 22nd and finishing at about 1:30 p.m. on the 23rd.  
The team finished 3rd in the Public Safety Division and 5th overall (400+ teams ran).
Team members in the photo left to right
Nate Broadbent (Fire)
Reed Van Wagoner (Police)
David Wayt (Legal)
Brian Jones (Legal)
Brian Taylor (Police)
Jeremy Moon (Fire)
Matt Briggs (Friend)
Jeremy Craft (Fire)
Kristen Craft (Facilities)
Kevin Bell (Fire)
Jake Dennison (Fire)
Jason Wassom (Fire)
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Pirates in Provo

Want something fun to do this Halloween?
Something with pirates?
Something interactive?
Something spooky, but not too spooky for kids?
You don’t have to go to Disneyland.
Check out the C.L.A.S. Ropes Course Halloween Cruise on Provo River.
You can only find this in Provo.
The last Halloween Cruise is this Saturday, but they also have a Christmas Cruise in December.
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Transportation Open House Tonight

Mountainland Association of Governments invites you to come to the Orem Senior Friendship Center tonight and learn about air quality, road/highway improvements, new community development, transit plans, and how it affects you.  Information will be available on: Lehi 2100 North, I-15 CORE Reconstruction, Commuter Rail, Bus Rapid Transit, Geneva Road, SR-92, North County Blvd, Lehi 2300 West, Santaquin Main Street, and Provo Westside Connector.  Representatives from Mountainland Association of Governments, UDOT, UTA, and communities in Utah County, including Provo City, will be available to answer questions on transportation plans and community development.
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The Taj Mahal

I had a good laugh this morning as I read the letter from the Taxpayers’ Association about our proposed recreation center.  
I like their name, “The Taj Mahal.”  
I am looking into the possibilities of officially adopting the name for the new building should the bond pass.

Not to add to the pressure of the bond, but the Eldred Senior Center experienced a minor bucket brigade to cover all the roof leaks from this last rain storm.  Additional buckets were needed, over past leakage episodes. 
Brian Smith and Whitney Booth are experiencing the same cold offices that we were on Monday morning, but their plight will continue throughout the Winter.  The facility heaters in their offices are off, since the hot water pipes supplying them have rotted to the point that they no longer can be used.  They are getting by with space heaters that do not quite make the grade.

This past weekend (Sunday) the boiler at the Recreation Center went down and our early Monday swimmers were greeted with cold water for their lap swim and water exercise class. Some were unhappy, but most exercised their way through the initial cold water shock upon entering the pool.

Some have called our existing facilities "more than adequate". You be the judge...
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I’m Pleased To Announce…

I know I may sound like a broken record to some but we live in an exciting time in one of the most exciting cities. With so many great things happening in Provo I’m pleased to announce another one that we’ve just heard this morning.
For years now stakeholders have been working to get the Provo Airport to a point it could step up and partner with an airline to get regularly scheduled flights going in and out. This morning we learned that we’ve received a large federal grant making what has been referred to in the past as a possibility, closer to a reality.
Imagine this – instead of driving up to Salt Lake International, parking your car, shuttling to the terminal, and going through long security lines you can drive five to ten minutes from home, jump through security and be headed to a regional destination. This could shave hours off a business trip and maybe put the relaxation into a vacation.
Thanks to all those who’ve working on this. It’s been a collaborative effort showing real boots-on-the-ground-type progress demonstrating what can be done when we focus and work together on a common goal. It’s efforts like this that have helped Provo be ready to spring forward as the affects of the recession dissipate.
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Downtown Cleanup

It’s hard to believe that the weather was this nice just a little over a week ago.  On Saturday, October 16, three local LDS stakes and one BYU stake came together under the direction of Ray Beckham to spruce up downtown as part of the city’s Center Focus project.
They cleaned up the kiosks, brushed off the dirt around the flower beds, and swept sidewalks, borrowing brooms from downtown merchants.

Here are some of the men from the BYU 4th Stake 68th Ward.  Thanks to them and everyone else who pitched in, we will enjoy a beautiful downtown the rest of this season.
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Street Light Facts

Provo’s Energy Department provides the street lighting for the city and currently operates and maintains approximately 7,000 street lights for the benefit of the public. 
Although street lighting is costly and we have limited funds, we are always interested in making the right investments for the good of the community and their safety.   We invite the public to contact us if there are any specific roads or intersection lacking in lighting and/or the lamps are burned out and need replacing. To report a street light problem visit
The Energy Department promotes effective street lighting with efficient types of lamps and directional lighting equipment.  

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