Sunday, December 29, 2013

109 Accidents at State Street and University Parkway 2010-2012

A multi-car accident blocks the intersection at State Street and 400 North in Orem Thursday, April 4, 2013. MARK JOHNSTON/Daily Herald
                          minivan was heading west on University Parkway just before 11 a.m.  Feb. 26, 2013

Top 10 Utah County Intersections with the Most Traffic Accidents 2010 - 2012

1. State Street & 800 North, Orem - 112
2. State Street & University Parkway, Orem - 109
3. State Street & 1600 North, Orem - 87
4. Main Street & 400 South, Springville - 86
5. University Parkway & Main Street, Orem - 83
6. University Parkway & 400 West, Orem - 81
7. University Avenue & 960 North, Provo - 79
8. University Parkway & 200 East Orem - 76
8. University Parkway & University Avenue, Provo - 76
10. State Street & 800 South, Orem - 75
"Of the top 10 intersections with the most crashes, seven of the 10 are in Orem -- four on State Street and three on University parkway." 

 "Some intersections are inherently more dangerous than others -- where accidents happen more frequently than others.
According to UDOT, 800 North and State Street in Orem is where the most accidents occurred from 2010 to 2012, with 112 accidents at the intersection. State Street and University Parkway, also in Orem, came in at a close second with 109 accidents in the same three year period. Not surprisingly, some of the intersections with the most accidents happen to be the ones with the most traffic.
"That is to be expected," said Robert Hull, director of traffic and safety for UDOT. "The greater number of vehicles going through an intersection really increase the amount of exposure and potential for crashes."

UTOPIA'S Orem City Page


The City of Orem is a dynamic full-service community that is home to nearly 90,000 residents and over 4,000 businesses.  Local residents and visitors alike appreciate Orem’s safe neighborhoods, outstanding park system, nationally-acclaimed Library, superior-quality drinking water, recreation programs, and many other amenities.
Orem has long been known as a great community for growing families, and it is also a place that is full of opportunity for students who wish to grow their education.  In addition to the 23 public schools serving elementary through high school students, Orem is proud to be the home of Utah Valley University which now has an enrollment of nearly 33,000 students, making it the largest state educational institution in Utah.  Technology continues to play a key role in our educational environment, supporting activities such as distance learning and research-based development.
Orem’s business community has a long tradition of leading the nation in high-tech enterprises.  Local firms appreciate the infrastructure that Orem offers, including UTOPIA.  With an eye on both current needs and the future, decision makers are looking for both Internet capacity and speed.  UTOPIA has become an important part of choosing a location in both businesses and residential decisions.  Many Orem residents recognize the tremendous benefit of fiber optics and are anxious to have access to UTOPIA in their neighborhoods.
Like other progressive cities, Orem is concerned about meeting the needs of our citizens, businesses, educational institutions, and medical facilities.  We value superior infrastructure and high-quality services for our community.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Proposed Utility Fee to Cover Current UTOPIA bond payment

                                                  Hans Andersen, Orem City Council

Notes from Closed Meeting on UTOPIA
Two months ago the Orem City Council members attended a meeting regarding the future of UTOPIA. At the meeting they were required to sign a non disclosure agreement. The meeting discussed using a fee on the utility bill of every resident of Orem to cover Utopia and its short fall. The utility fee would be a steep $20 to $25 a month regardless of whether or not you have or even have access to Utopia. The Orem City Manager said the non-disclosure agreement NDA (non disclosure agreement) had been lifted off of those of us who attended the UTOPIA meeting. The notes below were taken by Hans Andersen at the meeting. The notes in black are from the meeting and the notes in red were added by Hans later for clarification. 
October 23, 2013  Secret meeting with NDA
I had a meeting at Kirton and McConkie law office in SLC, 50 E South Temple to discuss an offer by a company who wants to partner with UTOPIA.  I signed a NDA (non-disclosure agreement) stating I would not talk about the information they shared with us about 10 minutes into the meeting.  There were about 5-6 cities at our meeting, about 18 people?.  All CC members and city managers are invited and will attend multiple meetings for similar presentations.
A fellow from Canada named Nick Hand (Hann) represented an unknown british company.  His plan was to:
1.     Get our city councils to vote to make UTOPIA a utility and to impose a still to be determined monthly fee to be imposed on our citizens once they ran the backbone in front of each house in our cities.
He used a $20-25/month figure when describing this.  After reading the contract I believe I know why.  If you turn to the bottom of page 9, part 2.4 of the Macquarie/UTOPIA agreement it talks about cities like Orem adding to their citizens utility bill the current bond payment for UTOPIA which is currently coming out of the general fund (i.e., property tax that just failed).  The Maquarie/UTOPIA agreement says in part 2.4, in part,
 . . . . the Parties will continue to explore options for including the existing debt (emphasis added) in the Transaction as outlined in the Milestone 1 Scope of Work herein, and may decide to do so in the future. . . . 
City managers like this part because it would dump into the utility bill the whole UTOPIA mistake, (Past and this new debt) just like Provo dumped their whole IPROVO mistake into their utility bill. Many citizens would be unaware of the transfer, just like most don’t know the Orem street light fee was just dumped on their utility bill. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"UTOPIA has been quite clearly identified, currently, as a sub-scale network, with not enough addresses to be self-supporting," .Standard Examiner

UTOPIA inks agreement with Australian company
SALT LAKE CITY -- UTOPIA's secret announcement with some 60 mayors and city council members sworn to silence for two months is a fresh $300 million investor from down under.
The Australia-based Macquarie Capital Group specializes in managing public-private partnerships, according to its vita. It boasts $359 million under management in 28 countries.
The plan is for the Macquarie-organized company, or reorganized UTOPIA, to finish building the UTOPIA dream begun in the late 1990s and pay off the 25-year bonds so many of the member cities are paying out of taxes instead of subscriber fees. Brigham City currently pays $430,000 a year for its UTOPIA bonds, and Layton, $2 million.
For their $300 million Macquarie gets a slice of the subscriber fees to recoup their investment over a 30-year period.
UTOPIA officials had hoped to show Macquarie's UTOPIA project manager Nick Hann around the state to media outlets and some of the fiber-optic company's 11 member cities all day Thursday. But those plans were blown up by the Thursday morning snowstorm that closed the Salt Lake City Airport. Hann, from Macquarie's Vancouver office, didn't get off a plane in Salt Lake until 2:30 p.m., after diverting to Grand Junction, Colo.
The "build-out" UTOPIA is hoping for with Macquarie after more than a decade of disappointment is to reach its projected 153,000 connections, said Wayne Pyle, West Valley City manager and UTOPIA board chairman.
Currently, he said, the figure is 20,000 connections, or subscribers -- homes and businesses paying for UTOPIA's high-speed internet access.
Pyle was among the group escorting Hann to stops Thursday in Salt Lake, Davis and Utah counties. The visit of Hann apparently ends the authority of approximately 60 non-disclosure agreements UTOPIA had most of the 11 member cities sign the last two months to keep quiet until a formal agreement was penned with Macquarie.
"Not that it isn't important, but this is not a particularly large investment for Macquarie," Hann said in a telephone interview from the Salt Lake airport.
"UTOPIA has been quite clearly identified, currently, as a sub-scale network, with not enough addresses to be self-supporting," he said. "What Macquarie hopes to do is bring the capital to build out and deliver core public infrastructure services.
"We take the risk for building the project on time and on budget, and the risk to keep it going ... in this case for 30 years."
The member cities of UTOPIA have no liability for repaying the $300 million, he said. But Hann said he couldn't promise there would never be charges made to the cities.
He also said $300 million is not a cap, that whatever money is needed would be utilized.
"The $300 million figure is a back-of-the-envelope estimate," Hann said. "There are no constraints in bringing whatever capital is needed."
Macquarie works as a "concessionaire," officials explained, forming, financing and managing the company that will finish laying UTOPIA's fiber-optic cable.
Pyle said the build-out is not expected to begin in the spring, actual start-up unclear until certain feasibility studies finish.
Contact reporter Tim Gurrister at 801-625-4238, Follow him on Twitter at @tgurrister

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cupcake Chic Gourmet Bakery has Moved because they are tearing down the building they were in

          Cupcake Chic has moved from their location by Costco to the strip mall located  next to Sprouts Farmer's Market, at 1361 S State St, Orem, UT 84097, because they are tearing down the building they were previously located in.  This is the strip mall
where Panda Express, Men's Warehouse are located.

Cupcakechicutah web site

SB 172 UTOPIA inspires bill limiting use of bonds. Antone Clark Standard-Examiner. Wed, 02/27/2013.

                    SB 172, sponsored by Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem

SALT LAKE CITY -- A bill inspired by the financial travails of the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) putting limits on using proceeds from a bond for operating expenses for more than a year has passed the Senate.
SB 172, sponsored by Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, passed the Senate on Wednesday and now advances to the House.
The Orem lawmaker likened using a bond for operational expenses to paying for a mortgage by using a credit card.
Valentine said the bill will not go back and undo UTOPIA, because the rules would go into effect March 14 this year.
Layton, Tremonton, Brigham City, Perry and Centerville are all members of the fiber network, which has struggled financially since its inception almost a decade ago.

UTOPIA asks officials in Brigham City, Layton to sign non-disclosure forms. Tim Gurrister, Standard-Examiner. Wed, 11/13/2013 .


BRIGHAM CITY -- A number of city officials have signed non-disclosure agreements requested by UTOPIA before they were briefed on coming plans by the high-speed fiber-optic internet company. 
The non-disclosure agreements, or NDAs, are common in private industry. But UTOPIA, for Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency, is a cooperative publicly owned by Brigham and 12 other cities.
Brigham is committed to $430,000 a year in bond payments for 25 years, issued as part of UTOPIA's late 1990s startup, officials said.
Layton is signed up to the tune of $2.1 million a year in bond payments for the fiber-optic company, officials said.
But officials in both towns agreed not to disclose details publicly of two sets of meetings with UTOPIA officials in recent weeks covering coming plans for the agency, long mired in the red.
Jason Roberts, Brigham's finance director, in September briefed the city council on the fact the company's operating losses, once at $3 million a year, are currently down to $2.4 million a year.
But of the secret meetings with UTOPIA on Nov. 4 in the city offices and a week earlier in Salt Lake City attended by he and other city officials who signed their NDAs, Roberts said he could only say the meetings were positive.
"I did not take it as bad news in any shape or form," Roberts said. "And it will be fully disclosed before any action is taken."
He said he couldn't predict when that action, in public, would be taken. He said he could say the NDA involved the interest of a third-party, relating to proprietary concerns about internal business operations.
City Attorney Kirk Morgan echoed that, and said he advised city officials they were safe, on legal ground, in signing the NDAs.
"UTOPIA has never done this before, and it only applied to this one set of meetings," Morgan said. "My assumption is the non-disclosure agreements have to terminate at some point. The council can't vote on something without discussing it. That's the only way it would get approved."
Morgan said he did not attend the meetings, so didn't sign an NDA, but insisted "the only way for UTOPIA to do anything by way of a major change is by a public vote, with whatever proposal ratified in a public meeting."
Layton City Attorney Gary Crane said he advised his city officials to go ahead and sign the NDAs for the meetings. He signed one himself.
He said they did involve a third party with proprietary concerns, and in fact it was the third party which requested UTOPIA collect the NDAs.
"In the course of looking at various options, it's not unusual for a private business to request public officials sign NDAs," Crane said. "The Governor's Office of Economic Development does it all the time with incoming businesses they're recruiting.
"I don't know why it's such a big deal," he said. "It's just information gathering, not decision-making."
One who refused to sign her NDA was Brigham City Councilwoman Ruth Jensen.
"I'm not going to sign non-disclosures so UTOPIA can waste more of our money in closed sessions," she said. "It's sneaky and under-handed and could be a violation of the state's open meetings law."
Contact reporter Tim Gurrister at 801-625-4238, Follow him on Twitter at @tgurrister