During Tuesday’s city council meeting, Provo City Mayor Michelle Kaufusi joined with the Provo City Council to support the environmental protections of Utah Lake.
The resolution was presented to councilmembers George Handley, and Shannon Ellsworth. The resolution calls for stronger consideration of Utah Lake’s health and its place in the Utah Valley community during the Utah State Legislature 2022 General Sessions.
Counselor Ellsworth and me had been speaking with concerned citizens and state legislators about our concerns about a possible development proposal that could move forward in the next legislative session. Handley said. We were concerned that this proposal was based upon a misleading understanding of the ecological characteristics and some of the engineering and financial risks associated with it.
Neither was the proposal mentioned by name in the presentation or in the supporting resolutions. The council stated that it had not taken a formal position on the project, but was concerned about its environmental impact and the absence of a public engagement process.
Ellsworth stated that there is concern about the future of Utah Lake without a proper, robust or transparent process for public engagement. This kind of defies government.
Handley said that while we don’t normally want to be involved in every issue that might be brought before the state legislature, this issue is so significant for the entire county and valley. We felt it was so important that we began conversations with the rest on the council, citizens, and state legislators about asking them to take steps to protect the lake. We feel it would be catastrophic if it went to the extreme.
The Provo City Council had discussed the possibility to request a repeal of H.B. 272 Utah Lake Amendments. They decided to call on the Utah Legislature to amend the bill.
Handley said that there seemed to be quite a lot of willingness from the state legislators we have been talking with to amend this bill.
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