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Salt Lake County Mayor Submits 2021 Budget Proposal To Council

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson discusses the first 100 days of the COVID-19 pandemic and her county's response.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson submitted a $1.2 billion budget proposal to the Salt Lake County Council Tuesday, citing the many challenges that have made 2020 a memorable year.

“It is stating the obvious to say that 2020 has been like no other year,” Wilson said in a prepared address. “While our revenue projections are solid and our fiscal house is in order, we remain cautious, exceptionally cautious, especially with so much uncertainty.”

Wilson listed the pandemic, the magnitude 5.7 earthquake near Magna on March 18, several protests following the death of George Floyd, the September windstorm and several wildfires in her address.

“The balanced county budget presented today is largely the result of a diversified economy in Salt Lake County and swift action in the spring,” Wilson said.

The county took major action in June to cut $78 million from the 2020 budget that addresses declining revenue due to the pandemic.

She said many of those cuts remain, but many of them deal with major projects that have been delayed, not erased.

“But our decision to make cuts across the board allowed us to protect critical services and set us up for a quick restart,” Wilson said. “Many of those cuts remain in this proposed budget. Each of our offices, divisions and departments understands that a conservative posture is necessary in 2021.”

Neither the prepared statement nor a news release from her office included details from the 2021 budget, which only said it was balanced and adjustments may be needed.

“COVID-19 has presented challenges to our workforce, but there are countless examples of divisions, departments and offices going the extra mile to serve our constituents during this extraordinary year,” Wilson said. “I have often found myself in awe of the stories of selflessness, determination, and ingenuity demonstrated throughout the county.”

She singled out the IT department for making the transition to remote working for so many employees, much like every other government and company.

Wilson also highlighted the work of the Salt Lake County Health Department, emergency services and logistics teams that “leaned aggressively into protecting public health by setting up quarantine and isolation locations and implementing contact tracing measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.” Wilson added, “All the while, our health department has been planning for a vaccination effort, the likes of which has not been taken before.”

The council will vote on the budget later this year.

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