FARMINGTON – Not to be outdone by President Barack Obama or Utah Governor Gary Herbert, Davis County Commission Chairman John Petroff presented his own State of the County speech on Tuesday morning.
But unlike those two leaders, Petroff delivered his message in about 10 minutes.
“The state of Davis County is great,” he said, after outlining accomplishments for county government.
The message also was sprinkled with statistics about the county’s unemployment and poverty rates, average family size, income, and more.
Highlights of Petroff’s speech include:
Ґ The county’s jobless rate is 5.2 percent compared to a national rate of nearly 8 percent.
Ґ Some 5.1 percent of Davis County families are considered at the poverty level compared to 9.4 percent for the rest of the state.
Ґ Davis County’s median household income is $64,840 compared to $54,740 in Utah.
Ґ The county’s average household size is a little higher than the state average, 3.3 per family, compared to three.
“Our county continues to recover from the recession of the last four years,” he said. “With the exception of the construction industry, the economy is returning.”
And while the county’s economic indicators are strong, “we still need to improve. And we will,” Petroff said.
He cited the four-year-old Davis Unified Economic Development Group as a reason for the county’s being ranked number one in job growth for the past year.
That group includes Realtors, business leaders and city and county officials who have cooperated on identifying sites ready or ideal for industrial and commercial development.
Petroff called 2012 a “year of completion” for county government. January saw opening of the new Children’s Justice Center. In October, the new Farmington/headquarters library opened, followed in November by the new county administration building.
“When interest rates hit their lowest ever and bids for construction projects were coming in 25-30 percent lower than engineer estimates, we saw an opportunity to fulfill a need that had existed for years,” Petroff said of those projects.
He also praised the work of the county’s nearly 900 employees, singling out County Attorney Troy Rawlings for implementing a mental health court and ongoing work on 14 high-profile cases.
“Financially, we continue to balance our budgets without cutting services. We still maintain stellar bond ratings and we have not had a property tax increase in seven years,” Petroff said.
Copies of the State of Davis County in both short and long versions are available on the Davis County government website at co.davis.ut.us/.