South Salt Lake responds to Mayor McAdams' recommendation for 3rd homeless shelter

South Salt Lake responds to Mayor McAdams' recommendation for 3rd homeless shelter (Photo: Morgan Saxton / KUTV)

(KUTV) — Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams has submitted a location recommendation for a third homeless shelter outside of Salt Lake City.

In a letter sent to Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer J. Cox on March 30, McAdams recommended the shelter be built at 3380 South and 1000 West.

South Salt Lake City council vice chair Shane Siwik told KUTV in a phone interview the news isn't a surprise, but he's disappointed by the decision.

"We feel we have done our share and South Salt Lake continues to be looked at time and time again for more of these facilities to be put here,” Siwik said, adding that the submitted shelter location is part of the district he represents.

The location on 1000 West already includes a number of state and county facilities in close proximity that include Valley Mental Health, Salt Lake County Jail, Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office and Salt Lake County's Emergency Management building. There are also a number of residential homes on the street.

Siwik said South Salt Lake has always been willing to be a part of the solution and to do its share, but within reason to its current tax base and other existing weights on the city.

"It may be spreading the homeless situation and the population farther, but it’s condensing our regional county and state facilities that we already bear the burden of hosting," Siwik told KUTV. "It gives us one more site that we have to deal with as far as public safety is concerned."

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Initially, Salt Lake City presented four homeless resource centers within its city boundaries. After negative feedback from the public, the city announced it would reduce the number of locations to three centers, with one in the county. During the selection process, there were nine potential sites. Two days before the decision was to be made, Draper Mayor Troy Walker put an offer on the table. He said he spoke to Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams about two eligible locations for a shelter in Draper. However, after a negative reaction from residents, Walker took the offer off the table. McAdams said the sites were still up for consideration though.

In his letter, McAdams said the county's real estate team looked at more than 20 locations before selecting the one outside of South Salt Lake City.

South Salt Lake City will hold an emergency community meeting for residents tonight, March 31 at 6 p.m. in the Columbus Center at 2531 South 400 East to answer questions from residents.

Here are the nine original sites that were up for consideration:

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