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South Valley Riverton Journal

Council rundown: New councilmember, fiber optics, police chief

Feb 03, 2023 11:33AM ● By Travis Barton

Three of the 25 divided sections in the city now have Google Fiber installed the mayor reported in January. (Pixabay)

Here’s a rundown of several happenings involving Riverton government. 

New councilmember

In the first City Council meeting of 2023, the council interviewed 12 applicants for the recently-vacated District 1 seat after Sheldon Stewart was elected to the Salt Lake County Council. 
After one round of interviews—where the council’s questions focused on land use, how they would use discretionary funds, their goals and what separated them from the crowded field—the council’s vote narrowed to two: Andy Pierucci and Elliot Person. 
One more round of questioning led to another vote, the four councilmembers were split two each, before Mayor Trent Staggs’ tiebreaking vote went to Pierucci, who was then administered the oath of office. 

Police chief

Originally reported by KSL on Friday Jan. 20, Riverton police chief Don Hutson no longer works for Riverton City. 
Hutson was the precinct chief in Holladay for Unified Police before coming to Riverton when the city formed its own police department in 2019. 
On Jan. 17, Hutson presented his monthly report on the department during that evening’s city council meeting. 
At the end of that meeting, the council convened in a closed session (not available to the public) for just over an hour. 

Mayor Pro Tem

Councilmember Troy McDougal was selected mayor pro tem by unanimous vote. In the case of the mayor’s absence, McDougal will chair the council meetings. 

Fiber optic infrastructure

Staggs reported at the Jan. 17 meeting that Google Fiber has designed the entirety of the system and its buildout in Riverton such as where trenching will take place to put in the fiber and all connection points. The city was divided into 25 sections and three of which have been installed. 
“We think by the end of this year, the vast majority of Riverton residents will have access to google fiber,” he said during the meeting. 
Separately, City officials also have plans to apply $1.2 million of federal COVID relief funds to install the entirety of a broadband ring to five city facilities. 

UTA Survey

City officials are urging residents to fill out a UTA survey for transit needs and priorities. UTA is working on a five-year service plan and invited community feedback through a survey. 
Riverton officials have repeatedly emphasized in recent months that UTA lacks a presence in the southwest part of the valley, particularly Riverton where they highlight the city has zero bus stops from UTA and zero rail stations. Herriman and Bluffdale don’t have bus stops either. 
The only service offered by UTA in the community is Via, a microtransit offering that doesn’t get much ridership. Officials said UTA collects over $6 million from Riverton in sales tax revenue each year despite the disparity in service between communities. Last year Staggs highlighted how the southwest has a comparable population to Salt Lake City but only has 2% of bus stops compared to Salt Lake City’s 32%.