This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
"For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required."
"Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you."
Much has been expected of South Salt Lake. It is time to give something back.
The small community is home to the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office and Jail and the county's juvenile detention center. Major highways cross there in a way that encourages no one to stop. Granite High School has sat empty for eight years, with various redevelopment plans put forward and rejected and now $2.5 million in taxpayer dollars allocated to demolish it.
And most recently, at the end of a whirlwind process that no one really liked, the small municipality to the south of Salt Lake City has been selected as the host of one of three new homeless resources centers to be built in the county. (The other two are to be in Salt Lake City.)
That's a lot of territory that not only doesn't attract upscale development, it isn't even on the tax rolls.
The main purpose of the project is to ease the crisis of homelessness and put lost souls back on the path to self-sufficiency. But there is no denying that part of the motivation is to remove a blight on the Rio Grande neighborhood, a part of the capital city that is ripe for the kind of private, tax-paying development that South Salt Lake can now only dream of.
The least that the county and state officials who have made this choice could do is to honor the check that County Mayor Ben McAdams would like to write.
McAdams, whose job it was to sort through a short list of sites and select one, correctly feels that he and the rest of us owe something to South Salt Lake, something that will add the kind of infrastructure that, everyone agrees, builds community and enhances property values rather than threatens to diminish them.
His vision includes a new branch of the county library system near the resource center, beefed up transit service for the whole neighborhood and a plan to buy up some of the surrounding property so those innocent bystanders aren't harmed by the project. That will cost money, on top of the $20 million the Legislature has already promised to the resource centers.
But, if anything, it is probably the sort of infrastructure investment that should have been aimed at the community all along.
Now, it's the least we can do.