Recent action by West Valley City Council
Oct 18, 2018 03:03PM
By Jana Klopsch
Examples of why city officials decided to implement new code for residents to remove graffiti. (Photos courtesy West Valley City)
By Travis Barton | [email protected]
Full-time mental health professional
The West Valley City Council unanimously approved a two-year contract with the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) to allocate a licensed mental health professional to work with the West Valley City Police Department.
The contracted individual from UNI “will complement the already ongoing efforts of the city to assist residents who are experiencing chronic and acute homelessness,” according to city documents.
Those documents also state the professional will help police provide intervention, referral or placement for those with mental illness.
“Simply arresting a person with mental health issues and incarcerating them does not always solve the problem,” said Mayor Ron Bigelow during a September city council meeting. “Nor is it necessarily the right issue.”
The UNI professional will also help the police department in training its officers in crisis intervention and de-escalation training.
West Valley City will pay $117,813.85 annually for the professional’s work.
Vehicle purchases for police and public works
The city council authorized the purchase of nine Ford Interceptor sedans for the patrol division of the police department. These will replace nine similar sized vehicles.
Cost for all nine comes to $231,903, according to city documents.
Elected officials also voted to approve the purchase of 12 Toyota Camry Hybrids for a total of $296,371.08. They are also replacement vehicles for the police department’s investigation division.
Public works will get two 10-wheel trucks to be fitted with salters and dump beds. These two replace two 2003 trucks that the fleet division refurbished in 2012. The two old trucks will be sold at auction.
City council unanimously approved an amendment to city code that requires graffiti removal be removed through “washing, sandblasting or chemical treatment or through painting in a manner that it is no longer apparent that graffiti was on the structure.”
The change comes after noting that some owners have painted over graffiti not matching with rest of the building.
The city employs a full-time graffiti specialist to remove tagging from public properties. For private property, due to liability the property owner is responsible for its removal.
Free graffiti removal kits are available to all city residents at city hall and the city’s animal shelter.