Population Growth Is A Key Element Of Sandy’s FutureJan 30, 2015 12:26PM ● By Peter Worona
The 2015 legislative session is being held at the state capitol building. Sandy City Mayor Tom Dolan, along with leaders and representatives of every other city in Utah, will be pushing for funding of city projects to prepare for the future.
The 2015 legislative session began recently, and Sandy City officials will be pushing for funding to make the lives of the city’s residents better.
At the legislative session, Utah city leaders and representatives will make appeals to the Utah State Legislature for the funding of different areas. For Sandy, the most important of these areas – and the one for which Sandy City Mayor Tom Dolan will be pushing the most – is transportation.
“We’re falling so far behind in building our [transportation] infrastructure and repairing roads across the entire state,” Dolan said. “It has to be addressed. There’s going to be a population growth over the next 25 years. There are going to be another 2.5 million people in the state of Utah, and many of those will be here along the Wasatch Front.”
Utah’s 2040 plan calls for $11.3 billion for transportation and infrastructure needs. Of that amount, $4 billion will go toward state roads, $3 billion is for public transportation and transit, and $3 billion is for local governments to maintain the current infrastructure and create new roads. Each year, members of the legislature determine how these projects will be funded.
In addition to transportation, education and water are two more big issues Dolan wants to look into at the session. Water resources will be a huge issue in the long-term future, he said, and Sandy (along with the rest of Utah) will need to figure out how to supply water needs to the increasing population for years to come.
Dolan said that improved education is an obvious area to explore.
“Education is a key component of the future job market and economic development,” he said. “We’ve got to train our children to be prepared for the marketplace in the future.”
The funding needed in all of these areas is related to Utah’s, and Sandy’s, growing population. Dolan said that he doesn’t think most people realize how big of an impact the increased future population is going to have, and that all of the things he’ll bring up at the session are to plan ahead for that growing number of residents.
“It’s projected that this year, the state will go over 3 million people in population,” he said. “By 2050, it’s estimated that we’ll have another 2 million. If you don’t prepare for that now, then ... the quality of life will not be sustainable. That’s why we have to make plans for the future.”
Dolan said that he thinks a workable plan will be established at this year’s legislative session. The session started on Jan. 26 at the state capitol building, and it will last 45 days.