September 2020 E-newsletter for MSD Member Communities

Welcome to the 5th edition of the Municipal Service District newsletter. We have some important news and exciting projects included in this edition. This newsletter provides information about the five Metro Townships (Copperton, Emigration Canyon, Kearns, Magna and White City), the Town of Brighton, and the unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County. If you have news about your community that you would like us to include in the October edition, please send your articles, announcements, and photos by clicking here:  E-Newsletter Submissions

If you would like to send this newsletter to community members, just click on the button below and share the link. 


by Bart Barker, MSD General Manager

MSD Board of Trustees, from left to right:             The newest addition to the 
Max Burdick, Joe Smolka, Kelly Bush,                  MSD Board is Keith Zuspan
Shawn Clayton, Paulina Flint and Dan Peay.         from the Town of Brighton. 

                                                                                Brighton joined the MSD in
                                                                                January 2020.
When the earthquake struck Magna in March, Magna’s mayor and council jumped into action. 

The Kearns mayor and council have fought for the recently completed 5600 West beautification and safety project. 

When Emigration Canyon Road needed major maintenance, the mayor and council made sure the road would get a complete overlay rather than a chip seal so Utah’s most popular bicycle route would not be degraded. 

White City’s mayor and council extended a major trail that goes all the way into Draper. 

Copperton’s elected officials have taken steps to study the storm water system under the roads to identify how they can improve drainage and reduce flooding in certain neighborhoods. 

Brighton can now benefit directly from some of the resort spending by visitors, collecting tourism taxes to help enhance their town. 

These communities have mayors and councils, just like any other city. In January 2017, Copperton, Emigration Canyon, Kearns, Magna and White City incorporated into “metro townships,” which are Utah’s newest type of local government. The Town of Brighton incorporated in January 2020. 

Voters in these communities elect their leaders, just as in any other municipality. These locally elected officials control the zoning, business licensing, park maintenance and every other aspect of municipal services. 

Metro townships operate as cities and towns under Utah law with one primary difference: They pool their resources to share services as members of the Greater Salt Lake Municipal Services District (MSD). Brighton and Salt Lake County’s unincorporated area are also MSD members. 

On September 15, 2015, the Greater Salt Lake Municipal Services District was created under the authorization of state law. On that date the MSD assumed the county’s responsibilities for municipal services. The MSD is an independent local district that serves the 81,000 residents of its member communities. 

The remaining 11,000 residents of the county’s unincorporated area look to the county mayor and council as their local government. This year the county has increased its responsiveness to its unincorporated communities, which are located in pockets throughout the county. 

Each metro township’s mayor sits on the MSD’s Board of Trustees, along with a council member each from Brighton and Salt Lake County. The MSD provides all municipal services except police, fire and garbage collection. (Each MSD member entity also has a representative on the boards for those services.)

Residents can make a difference by getting involved in their local governments. They can attend and give input during council meetings. They can participate in community events. And they can vote for their local elected officials.  
Kearns received federal CARES Act funding based on their population. The approved uses for this money are extremely specific and must be used for COVID-19 related expenses.  Both the Metro Council and the Community Council decided to provide masks for the community members. 

Kearns Metro Township purchased 15,000 masks printed with “KEARNS STRONG” on them. The Community Council and Metro Council held “mask-up Kearns” events and distributed the masks to residents.
The MSD receives most of its funding from the Metro Townships, the Town of Brighton and Unincorporated Salt Lake County communities through sales tax, Class B and C highway funds, fees, grants and other revenues.

Update for Cyclists:
The lower portion of the canyon (up to the Fire Station, 5025 East Emigration Canyon Road) was opened up to cyclists and all recreational users at the end of August.
The canyon as a whole is still planned to reopen for recreational use on Labor Day once the rest of the road is striped, and the steel plates in the upper canyon area are pulled off of the roadway.
We are excited to reopen the canyon to the cycling community, and express our sincerest thanks for your patience and cooperation. Closing the canyon allowed us to complete the project well ahead of schedule. We hope you enjoy riding on the new, smooth pavement!
(Please note: There are problems with the current striping in the lower section of the canyon that are being evaluated for safety, and crews are expected to adjust the striping after Labor Day. A temporary closure of a day or two may be required to accommodate this work.)
Upcoming Work Activities:

  • Crews finished raising utilities back up to street level on. Motorists should expect steel plates in the roadway to cover the newly poured concrete collars around manholes during the necessary concrete cure time. 
  • Starting the first of September, striping activities will resume as crews continue to place roadway striping on the new asphalt. 
  • Next week, crews will repair the dip that exists in the road at the Emigration Township line, on the west end of the project. 
  • Crews will continue working on project clean-up over the next week.
White City and Unity Car Show Productions held a "Rolling Car Show" parade on August 29th. There were 73 entries plus the Unified Fire Authority and Unified Police Department vehicles lead the parade with sirens blasting. Residents lined up along the streets to view the parade, while still social distancing and staying in family groups. There were all kinds of entries, from antique collectible cars to hot rods, to new, sleek modern cars. The Ghost Busters van was there, as well as a "Mator" truck. Mayor Paulina Flint is in the photo on the left in front of the car she road in for the parade.

For years, Kearns community members have asked that something be done with 5600 West, where fences were broken, sidewalks were too narrow and weeds were overgrown.

The Community Council had wonderful plans in place for 5600 West, but they did not have access to the funding at the time. Now that Kearns is a Metro Township, its elected officials could apply for grants and lobby for funding. The Community Council joined with the Metro Township Council and pushed forward with their wish to get 5600 West beautified with a new wall, landscaping, widened sidewalks and lighting.  It turned out beautiful!

Due to the pandemic, Kearns leaders were unable to publicly dedicate this project officially to the Kearns Community Council.  If you ever drive by or stroll through this beautiful area, look and you may see the gorgeous plaque dedicating the project to our Kearns Community Council. 

More than two million visitors come to the canyon each year. In summer, trails, wildflowers, and cool air are the attractions, especially in this COVID year. The Town of Brighton is providing portable restrooms at the Lake Mary Trailhead. Trail improvements are underway with partners that include the Forest Service, Salt Lake County and City, Central Wasatch Commission, and Trails Utah. This summer we’ve been working on improvements at the Donut Falls, Willow Heights, and Desolation Trails.
Defensible Space projects are in full swing in the Town of Brighton. Residents aim to keep a 30 ft. lean, clean, green belt around homes to protect from wildfire.  Hefty slash stacks are the result.  Chipper Crews from Unified Fire contract to chip the stacks. This year over 50 families participated, donating over 1000 hours to the cause. UFA and Utah Forests Fire and State Lands provide the crews and equipment.  Wildfire is an important issue in Brighton. In July and August, the Town Council approved several wildfire and emergency plans, with great support from the UFA's James Woodward, MSD’s emergency planning staffer.
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