County Commissioner Reports
The three-member Davis County Commission works hard to make the most of our resources. You can participate in their work by attending their weekly Tuesday 10am meeting at the Davis County Administration Building in Farmington, which are also live-streamed. In addition to making the public meetings easier to follow or watch at a later time, live-streaming has provided a way for everyone to tune in during extraordinary times when the meeting room became limited in capacity. The address of the in-person meetings is 61 South Main Street, Farmington, UT.
The DAVIS COUNTY CONNECTOR started up in January 2021 as a digital newsletter to proactively keep residents informed. The content is purposefully what’s IMPORTANT to know right now, what is HELPFUL, and what is FUN. It’s easy and fast to sign up and you can opt out any time here.
Multiple County offices also have social media that you can follow for news and accurate information.
Update from Bob Stevenson, Commission Chair
I am happy to serve Davis County as a Commissioner. Three of the main projects I’ve been focused on are updating the Legacy Events Center, increasing the reach of the Davis Conference Center, and improving service and efficiency at Davis County Animal Care.
The Legacy Events Center was built for the 2002 Winter Olympics as a rodeo arena. Since that time, it has served multiple purposes. In the fall of 2020, we removed the dirt floor and replaced it with a multi-purpose concrete floor. From here we are going to remodel the building along with the surrounding area to become a premier youth sports complex. Youth sports has become big business and the economic factor will drive many dollars into our area through tourism funds. Hopefully the project will be completed in 2023. No increase in tax dollars is required for this project.
Prior to the pandemic, the Davis Conference Center was turning a profit for the county, and we expect that to continue into the future. The venue’s small size means we are missing out on opportunities to host bigger events. We are in the process of purchasing land to the north of the current building, which will allow us to increase the size of the center in the future. We are hopeful that in the next 5 years we will be able to add on additional meeting rooms and extend the exhibition halls. We hope to be able to add a multi-purpose entertainment center which could be used for sporting activities, concerts, graduations, and other events. This will also not require any increase in tax dollars.
For many years Davis County Animal Care has been funded through a joint program between the County and its 15 cities. We have now begun the legislative process to bring Animal Care under the financial and managerial umbrella of the county. This will allow for consistent ordinances throughout the county to manage the animal care services. This was a joint effort by the county and city governments to improve service and bring efficiency to the program. We are preparing to build a new facility in the next five years to support growth through-out the county. No additional tax dollars will be needed.
Update from Randy Elliott, Commission Vice-Chair
Davis County is well known as one of the best-run counties in Utah. Each commissioner has an area of focus, but we all stay aware of what each is working on. Recently, I have been involved in planning for a County Courthouse remodel. 1n 1929, Davis County Commissioners announced plans to enlarge the county courthouse. Interestingly, the expansion was built around the 1890s red brick courthouse, so there is a courthouse within a courthouse. An initial renaissance design with a turret entrance was replaced by a more traditional plan featuring a classical Grecian portico supported by six Ionian columns. The project was completed three years later in 1932.
A 1957—58 addition doubled the courthouse and another large addition to the southern side was completed in 1979. A1997 renovation removed the ceiling installed in the front entry hall during the 1929—32 construction, revealing the original ornate ceiling, now lighted with antique electrical fixtures.
The courthouse is again undergoing renovation. The current scope of the new project is to remove the 195 and 1979 additions while renovating the original historical 1932 section. This includes bringing the building up to current accessibility and seismic standards, while keeping historical interior finishes and exterior memorial elements intact.The schedule for the project will begin in the spring/summer of this year, starting with asbestos abatement and demolition services. Renovation efforts will continue into 2021 with planned completion in 2022.
Davis County is excited to bring this historical building back into use. Various county legal departments will be located in the new courthouse, and there will be an event space for county functions on the second floor. The facility will be aesthetically pleasing as well as functional, with increased surrounding landscape, outdoor gathering spaces, and war memorials for visiting and viewing. The renovated county courthouse promises to serve the community for generations to come.
As another project, over the course of several years, discussions have been had on transferring paramedics from the Sheriff’s office to local firehouses. When the county was a more rural the Sheriff-centered system worked well. As we developed and grew up it became clear that housing paramedics in local firehouses would make the most logical sense as they are located for quick responses to emergencies. This transfer will happen in 2023, though some areas like Layton and South Davis Fire have already made the transfer. I could go on and on on the great things happening in Davis County that I’m proud to be a part of.
Update from Lorene Kamalu, Commissioner
Dear Fellow Republicans and Friends, it is an honor to serve you and all the residents of Davis County. Thanks for what you do to contribute to our community and our party. Each commissioner has a lengthy portfolio. Mine includes a lot of health, human services, and criminal justice work. It is challenging and meaningful. I work full-time hours, and the days fly by. Here are some status updates of topics in the news.
The Clerk-Auditor, his team, an internal budget committee, and the Commission work closely to wisely use the $69 million dollars allocated to Davis County from the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA.) The U.S. Treasury has guidelines we follow, and we are committed to wise, conservative use of the funds. Large, one-time projects which are self-sustaining and provide a long-term impact are being discussed, in addition to continuing the health department’s COVID response.
Our Health Officer (who is also an epidemiologist) and his team have worked closely with the Davis School District throughout the entire COVID pandemic, and they continue to. Public health is not addressed in the U.S. Constitution; the authority for it is given to the states. Read more about it in Title 26 of Utah Code.
Our county has been recognized in the state and in the nation for the way we’ve responded to the pandemic. The drive-through mass vaccination clinic was truly remarkable. 95% of County residents age 70+ have chosen to be vaccinated. 45% of our junior- and high school students are fully vaccinated; 55% have had at least one dose so far and the numbers of vaccinations in the 12-15 age group are still climbing steeply. We look forward to a vaccine approved for youth under age 12 later this year or in 2022.
Countless people in many organizations have given their all to protecting and serving residents, and they still do. The Health Officer also gives credit to our community who have largely done their part. There is more work to do! When we focus on the local data and efforts, it’s a lot less stressful and confusing. You can stay up to date with the Davis County COVID dashboard to follow the local data.
The subject I chose to research as a student candidate for Master of Public Administration was “Citizen Engagement.” Visiting with you, hearing your feedback, and helping to connect you to local government services is an enjoyable part of the job I love. Please reach out to me at any time.