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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Public Works yard requests funds for improvements, snowplow storage

Nov 15, 2021 02:01PM ● By Cassie Goff

Artistic rending of what a public works building could look like. (Photo courtesy of JRCA Architects)

By Cassie Goff | [email protected]

Driving along 3000 East in Cottonwood Heights, commuters may notice a row of snowplows (and additional public works equipment) while looking east toward the Wasatch mountains. That’s the Cottonwood Heights Public Works yard, near 6601 South. Well, half of it is anyway as the yard is shared with UDOT (Utah Department of Transportation). 

The Cottonwood Heights side of the yard currently consists of large storage facilities and a construction trailer, serving as office space for the public works team. The property was purchased in 2017, when the city decided to bring their public works services in-house. There has been minimal development since. 

In 2020, Public Works Director Matt Shipp presented a construction proposal to the Cottonwood Heights City Council to continue development of the site. However, the city’s budget was not amenable to the expense at the time. Over the past few months, the city council has been debating an allocation of funds so the public works yard can be completed. 

“We are not housing some of our vehicles,” said Shipp on Sept 21. With the equipment frequently being exposed to the elements, Shipp expects the budget for maintenance and repairs to be above average. He also mentioned how many residents have called asking why the snowplows are out in the elements. 

Bays to house the equipment, primarily snowplows, have always been at the forefront of proposed construction for the yard. The current construction proposal includes new truck bays to not only help protect the equipment from the elements, but to provide adequate space for vehicle maintenance as well. The proposed bays would be around 10,125 square feet and would be able to store 10 snowplows. 

In addition, the construction proposal includes retrofitting the current building to account for the storage of the three remaining snowplows. Salt storage would remain within that same building. 

The property has already been paid for so “we are trying to maximize the space that’s already there,” Shipp said.  

Since the public works team has been working out of their construction trailer for years, Shipp would also like an office space built for his staff to utilize. The proposed office building would be around 6,100 square feet. 

With an estimated spring 2022 start date, the total construction budget is estimated at $5,574,436. Vehicle maintenance and storage would be the majority cost at $2,236,260. Expenses for constructing the office building are estimated at $1,708,000. Improving and modifying the current building is estimated to run $750,000. The remaining costs would cover city storage.