Tooele City Mayor Patrick Dunlavy reviewed the accomplishments of nine years in office, but kept an eye to the future, during his Wednesday night state of the city address.
Dunlavy’s list of city-wide improvements focused primarily on new and upgraded infrastructure that has come to Tooele during his time as mayor. Road projects, additions to parks and the city cemetery, and the acquisition of land for future police and fire stations all made the list.
Upgrades to the city’s water system were also a prominent theme. Since taking office, Dunlavy said, the city has drilled three new wells and added a 1 million gallon storage reservoir to the city’s water system. The wells, one of which cost more than $1 million to drill and install, are expected to increase the city’s water supply by about 50 percent.
“I believe the state of our city is a city prepared for the future,” Dunlavy said. “Completion of our projects has positioned this wonderful city not only to meet the needs of our citizens today, but well into the future.”
Dunlavy also highlighted the contributions of the Tooele City Council and the Tooele City Arts Council, which he said have brought the arts back to Tooele and enhanced community celebrations for holidays such as the Fourth of July.
In the future, Tooele will continue to see improved infrastructure, with plans for new police and fire department facilities and additions to city parks and the Oquirrh Hills Golf Course already in the works, Dunlavy said.
He also predicted continued retail growth, and said additional manufacturing, industrial and distribution operations will come to the area in the future. At least one new retail project, the Star Plaza strip mall, is already well under way and has secured two tenants — Starbucks and Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. A third retail space at that location remains available for rent.
“Our economic development efforts have paid significant dividends and will continue to add financial stability even in an uncertain economy,” Dunlavy said.
The city continues to work toward developing a larger retail center that would include a large box or department store as the main feature. However, the city has struggled to find tenants to anchor the project.
Dunlavy touched on the city’s role in bringing additional educational opportunities to the valley — including the Tooele Applied Technology College, which has applied for additional funding from the state to keep up with enrollment growth, and the future Utah State University technology building to be built at the Tooele campus.
Dunlavy spoke of striving to cooperate with other local governments to promote large-scale projects to benefit all of the valley’s communities. He thanked Grantsville Mayor Brent Marshall and the Grantsville City Council for their cooperation in recent years, which has allowed the two cities to end a long-running legal dispute and resulted in the construction of Grantsville’s first city library.
He also thanked members of his own staff, and became emotional as he spoke of his family’s support.
“Being an elected official is sometimes not easy,” Dunlavy said. “Things happen that affect them directly; having their support makes those difficult times bearable.”
Despite the challenges of public office, Dunlavy said he was grateful for the opportunity to serve the residents of Tooele and looked forward to the city’s exciting future.
Full text of Tooele Mayor Patrick Dunlavy’s State of the City address
Editor’s note: The following is the full text of Tooele Mayor Patrick Dunlavy’s State of the City address that was given during Wednesday’s Tooele City Council meeting.
Chairman Pratt, members of the City Council, and the citizens of this wonderful city — I have been reviewing the state of the city addresses for the nine previous years.
Time has gone by so quickly and yet we’ve accomplished so much. We’ve completed major road building projects, including 1000 North and Tooele Boulevard; completed a state-of-the-art water and wastewater reclamation plant.
Significant road, water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades are completed. We have added new roads in our cemetery, built a beautiful, functional nature park on Skyline Drive, added pavilions and upgraded our park facilities.
We have drilled three new water wells and added an additional 1 million gallon storage reservoir. We have completely connected our entire water system, allowing us to now move water from any area of the city as needed.
We have added hundreds of acres of new open space, preserving our east bench forever. We have acquired property for a new police facility and a new fire station. We have a library that has become a fun place to be with programs and activities. We played a significantly vital role in the completion of the beautiful Tooele Applied Technology College, and the soon to be completed Utah State University technology building.
We brought the arts back to Tooele, thanks to the efforts of the Tooele City Arts Council Board and city council. We transformed the yearly Fourth of July celebration into a week of fun activities for everyone, ending in a great concert and super fireworks display that I am very proud of. Many wonderful and exciting projects have been completed.
I believe the state of our city is a city prepared for the future. Completion of our projects has positioned this wonderful city not only to meet the needs of our citizens today, but well into the future. As always, there is more we have to do and there will always be more to do. Keeping our city financially sound is of utmost importance. Providing quality public service is why we’re here. I and the city council will continue to work hard every day to make sure these two very important items are managed.
The exciting future of this wonderful city will bring new facilities for our exceptional police and fire departments, as well as additions to our beautiful park and golf course facilities. New retail business will continue to come and be a part of our community. New manufacturing, industrial and distribution operations will create new jobs for our citizens. Our economic development efforts have paid significant dividends and will continue to add financial stability even in an uncertain economy.
I have worked very hard to develop strong ties to Tooele County and Grantsville City. In order to accomplish the things that are important to all of us that live in this valley, we must work together to make things happen. I am grateful for Mayor Marshall and the Grantsville City Council; I believe the level of cooperation on issues we share makes us both stronger. Because of it, both of our communities will benefit now and in the future. I pledge to continue to reach out to the county commissioners as well.
I am truly grateful that after nine years as mayor, I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity and privilege to work with wonderful city councils. They work very hard and take their responsibilities seriously. I thank them very much for their dedication and their experience. The staff and employees at Tooele City along with Paul Hansen, our contract engineer, and Randy Sant, our contract economic development consultant, are the best—they are educated and experienced in their work. Without them we certainly would not have accomplished so much in a very short period time. I am, and will be, forever grateful to them.
To my beautiful wife and wonderful children and their families, I express my love and my thanks. Being an elected official is sometimes not easy. Things happen that affect them directly; having their support makes those difficult times bearable. A special thank you to the wonderful people who express their support to me. I cannot tell you how much it means.
The future of this special city will bring challenges. I can tell each of you we are prepared and have the expertise to handle those challenges. Tooele City’s future will continue to be exciting. I, the city council and employees of Tooele City look forward to it. This beautiful city will continue to get better every day. I’m grateful for the opportunity you’ve given me to serve.