NORTH SALT LAKE – Every little bit helps.
Thanks to work by Rep. Becky Edwards, the state of Utah has given North Salt Lake $300,000 to help defray the approximately $670,000 the city spent to deal with the Springhill landside on the city’s west side. The money was the city’s match for a federal grant that totaled more than 2 million dollars.
“We put a lot of money into this project, and the federal government has put a lot of money into this project,” said North Salt Lake City Mayor Len Arave. “We’re very pleased the state decided to help out.”
The money has gone toward a variety of measures to help stabilize the ground in the area, including demolishing the collapsing homes that ones stood on the property. Currently, the land is being turned into a nature park, with work being done to divert water into the city’s storm system and away from the unstable ground.
The landslide has been an ongoing concern for North Salt Lake for the last several years, with the city making a previous request for state assistance a few years ago. The non-profit El Nino Foundation has also raised funds to help, offering assistance to residents who needed to move out of their landslide-affected homes.
North Salt Lake officials credit Edwards as a key factor in the state’s awarding of the funds. She made it a priority during the last legislative session, working with the appropriations committee in the face of a tight budget.
“There wasn’t a lot of money,” said Edwards. “The total appropriations for the year was $8.5 million, and we had nowhere near enough.”
Persistence, it turned out, was the key.
“It took a lot of explaining about the efforts that had gone on for years to help with the problem,” she said. “Once that happened, it was just a matter of keeping it in their minds as the prioritized.”
Though she admits it wasn’t easy, Edwards said she considers the effort to simply be part of her job.
“It’s just a part of representing the people,” she said. “This has been an ongoing issue for years, and the time was just right for it to happen this year.”