As the new year starts, we plan for the future and reflect on the lessons and successes of the past. While this may come as a surprise to many reading this, our county and elected officials are not perfect. We know: imperfect people in elected office is almost inconceivable. Add in a pandemic, and you may be left in awe at the confusion.
Joking aside, in Weber County, every person at the county office, both elected and employed, is doing their absolute best to serve you at a high level. While the last two years have been unbelievably difficult to manage, as commissioners, we are grateful for the outpouring of community support.
While we could all make a list of things that we struggled with over the last year, we wanted to provide you with information on what went right.
FINANCIAL STATE OF THE COUNTY
• CARES Act funding: Weber County dispersed $44,866,708 to cities, businesses, schools, nonprofits, and hospitals in critical COVID relief funding.
• Bonds Refinanced: The library system bond was refinanced at a lower rate, saving over $2 million in interest.
• Financial Rating: Weber County was awarded an AAA bond rating. This award is given to only 72 out of 3,006 counties nationally, putting us in the top 2.39% in the country.
• Our residents are represented well geographically across the county with Commissioners living in Plain City, Unincorporated Weber County, and the Ogden Valley.
• There is synergy amongst the Commissioners with their diverse life experiences as business owners in many industries.
• The morale in the county offices is great. Our employees are respected, listened to, and appreciated. By improving morale, we improved the efficiency of our staff and their ability to give superior service to our citizens.
• Commissioner Froerer was appointed to the Governor’s Unified Economic Opportunity Commission. He is the only County Commissioner in the state to be invited.
• We kicked off sewer and water studies in both the Upper Valley and West Weber with an estimated completion date in the fall of 2022.
• We are updating the Weber County Master Plan. In parts of the county, the master plan hasn’t been updated in more than 20 years.
• There are continued negotiations to add hundreds of millions of investment dollars and jobs to West Weber.
• Most importantly, we are laser-focused on development that empowers our children to want to live and work here.
COMMISSIONERS WRAP UP
Now, if you’ll allow us, we would like to highlight county projects we are, personally, very proud of. As Commissioners, we each have different departments and programs we oversee and love to give credit to the amazing work of our Weber team.
Commissioner Gage Froerer
- Weber County dispersed CARES Act dollars first to the community and last to their bank account. Many counties did the opposite.
- A total disbursement of $44,866,708 went to cities, businesses, schools, nonprofits, and hospitals in critical COVID relief funding. The personal messages of gratitude from small businesses and individuals describing receiving that aid were emotionally overwhelming.
- We worked hand-in-hand with Weber County Treasurer John Bond and his incredible team to smash our bond rating goal.
Commissioner Scott Jenkins
- The Weber Center of Excellence increased the number of families in poverty that are benefiting from their programs. Those numbers jumped from 40 to 200, creating a positive impact for their family generations to come.
- The Transfer Station went from operating every year in debt to becoming a profitable asset. With the machinery purchased, we can save an additional $48,000 annually by not leasing the equipment.
- In efforts to improve air quality, we halted the methane gas program.
Commissioner Jim Harvey- Culture, Parks, and Recreation/Tourism
- Travel and tourism stayed up 94.7% through COVID. By tourism staying up, your tax dollars stayed down.
- We opened three yurts in Weber.
- The Weber County Archery Park had a banner year and building expansion.
- We successfully hosted the 2021 World Disc Golf Championship.
- The Golden Spike Arena continues to host over 600 events annually, including the Weber County Fair- the largest fair in the state of Utah.
- While the world waited for conferences and gatherings to return, we installed a brand new state-of-the-art lighting system and seating in the Egyptian Theater. The lighting was entirely funded by a private donor, and the seating funding was provided by the State of Utah.
We are grateful we get to work with exceptional elected officials and department heads who are focused on service and making Weber County the best place to live, work, and play. They are tireless in their efforts, and we thank them for their commitment to you.
Thank you for allowing us to serve as your county commissioners. We are excited for all that 2022 will bring, and you can count on us to continue serving you and building the community we love so dearly.