Editor’s note: The following is the full text of Grantsville City Mayor Brent Marshall’s State of the City address that was given during Wednesday’s city council meeting. See related front-page story.
Honorable city council, department heads, employees, and citizens, it is my distinct honor and great privilege this evening to report to you that the state of this great city is stronger than it has ever been.
This year our city is celebrating its 150th birthday as an incorporated city. This sesquicentennial year is a major milestone. I often wonder what our founding fathers would think of the changes that have taken place in this valley since they first entered it. Our valley is protected by the majestic Oquirrh Mountains to the east, South Mountain to the south, and the grandeur and beauty of the Stansbury Mountains on the west, all acting as sentinels. They discovered sweet grass for their livestock to forage upon. Water so clean and pure that we still protect it today, with that cherishing, pleasing taste.
Oh, what a beautiful valley! No wonder they moved here and started a settlement in this place we call home. Oh, what do you think they would say to us about how this community has grown. I think they would be proud of what they started and how it has grown.
Looking across this great valley you see agriculture, industry, manufacturing, and business. Over the past year, our community has consistently moved forward. Through our Economic Development Board, Purple was brought into the city. They are now employing residents, creating 200 new employment opportunities with plans to add to the facility. I appreciate the support we received through the Economic Development Board and Tooele County School District, for their cooperation in continuing to help bring these vital projects forward.
Construction has started on our new Justice Center. This 13,000 square-foot building that will be the home of our Municipal Court and our Police Department, giving both departments more area that they need desperately. The new courtroom will meet all the requirements of the Administration Office of the Courts. The police department will have an improved training area. The evidence room will be greatly improved. It will have a community room that can be scheduled for many different events from scouting to families needing a place to have a reunion.
The city is financially sound. The seventh financial audit during my tenure as mayor was just completed with no findings. This is the fifth year in a row the city has received a clean audit. What an accomplishment. An excellent rating in management of the city’s finances. Living within our budgets has kept us from having to raise taxes.
Our parks and recreations facilities have expanded. We have expanded the RV dump station, which now allows those using it to go in each direction allowing for more convenience. The city’s first outdoor pickleball court was constructed at the Hollywood Park. I was thrilled to watch this court being used. Hopefully the interest in this game will warrant more courts. Basketball standards and soccer goals were put into both Hollywood Park and Cherry Street Park along with a new set of portable bleachers. More park improvements are scheduled for this upcoming year.
Our police department goes to work every day to protect us. Through their service to our citizens, we live here with a quality of life that is important to all of us. Thanks to their efforts, we live in one of the safest communities in the state. Two different independent audits scored us third and seventh as the safest communities to live in Utah. Something to be proud of. Congratulations to our police department. We cannot express a level of gratitude that honors your service. We are currently conducting interviews for our new police chief, as Chief Turner retired on Feb. 1 of this year. We wish Chief Turner and his family the best in their new adventure and would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for his leadership to our department.
The fire department is always there. Always ready to serve. They are our first responders if the ambulance is out of the city. Help is always available to get someone up who has fallen, or perform CPR on an individual who has had a heart attack. They protect our homes and businesses from fire and they do a great job. The fire department is in need of a new pumper truck that the city should try and acquire through this next budget process. The police and fire departments allow each of us through their service the opportunity to live here safely with a quality of life that is so important to all of us. I cannot thank them and their families enough for their sacrifices.
We are moving forward with the sidewalks on Durfee Street. This stretch of sidewalk will go from Hale Street to Quirk Street. We had a minor setback as the project came in over the project estimate. We have met with UDOT and some adjustments have been made to reduce the bid. The project will be going out to bid this month. It will provide another safe route to school to keep our children and pedestrians off the edge of the road and onto a sidewalk for the safety of everyone. We will also be working on a sidewalk from Cherry Street to Durfee Street on Quirk Street to make some connectivity to the schools.
We will also be installing a new pedestrian crossing on the corner of Hale Street and Main Street. This is a pedestrian activated crossing. It will use an amber flashing and then a solid red light with a timer on it for those crossing the street making this area much safer for our children to cross.
Our Main Street project is the biggest project our community has done in years. There is an estimated cost of $10 million to upgrade the waterlines, sewer lines, and address the storm drainage. This project is on schedule for 2019. This is an essential project that will allow Grantsville City and other utility companies to upgrade vital infrastructure in timing with UDOT’s project to cause the least amount of problems to the citizens and commercial properties. Grantsville City is preparing to seek bids for the engineering of the water lines and sewer lines on this project. The storm drainage infrastructure is part of UDOT’s development. More info will be coming forward on this as things progress.
We have sought funding for the Donner-Reed Museum through an appropriations committee in the state Legislature. I spoke at that hearing during this legislative session. We are in line for some appropriation but there is still a lot of legislation ahead before a specific amount is determined. During the last year, we have formed the Grantsville Historic Preservation Commission. During the next year they will have some exciting promotions of the history of our community.
Last year we completed and repaired numerous streets. This winter has been rough. We will evaluate the streets and prioritize their repairs once the spring breaks. This will be the first year that we will have Prop 1 money to help with these repairs. We will maximize every available dollar to achieve our long-term goals.
I would like to take a moment to recognize all our volunteers throughout our community. Thank you for your service, your time, talents, and energy that you give selflessly. You show our communities strength.
I would also like to recognize our military veterans and their families. They are true heroes and your sacrifice allows us to enjoy our freedoms. Thank you for your unselfish service to our country.
I am committed to having a good working relationship with other government agencies. An invisible thread binds us together. We are united by the profound and powerful fact that we all live here.
Thank you Mayor Dunlavy, the Tooele City Council, representatives Nelson and Sagers, county commissioners, and other leaders throughout the county. We have seen what working together can accomplish.
One of the most difficult parts of the annual State of the City is expressing to an exceptional group of people our gratitude: the employees of Grantsville City. These individuals come to work daily with the intent to keep the city functioning, financially sound, and working for all of its citizens. What a talented, experienced, and dedicated workforce. It is gratifying to work along the side of them. These employees make maintaining our high level of service to each of you possible. I thank each of you.
I appreciate the commitment of the city council. You work hard for our community. I am grateful to each of you. Your decisions made are always for the betterment of this great city, that it will continue to move forward. I express thanks to a dedicated city council.
My family, my mother Ruth, my loving wife Corene, my sons Ryan and Colin and their families. You are my rock, I love you very much. You are my greatest joy and achievement. My family’s support makes all the difference in the world to me. What a blessing it is to have your family close by for support. I am very proud of all of you. Your support allows me to do the work I love. Thank you.
That feeling has much to do with the work that many of us in this room did together in 2010 and over the last seven years. During the toughest economy in 80 years, we leaned on each other and our city is so much better off because of it.
The most enduring legacy of Grantsville, in my judgment, is the gift of belief. Believing in ourselves, the gift of confidence that we could literally do anything. That confidence never left. In that spirit here in our time we made decisions once shared that every achievement demands an even greater achievement. We made choices that put us firmly on course. The decisions will guide and galvanize our progress for the next 50 years. By any measure, Grantsville is better off than when we started our journey seven years ago.
We have the power to shape our future, to choose our path for Grantsville. This is our collective destiny. This is our moment. Let us never be accused of not dreaming big enough. Because what we dream, we can do, and what we do, we will do together. Let’s believe it will happen, and it will. It should be so and it will be so.
God bless you and God bless the City of Grantsville. Thank you.