• Mayor’s Message: July 2024
  • The Ride It Forward Program
  • Orem Named Utah Healthy Community
  • Fungal Disease Affecting Orem Sycamore Trees
  • State of the City Recap
  • Mayor’s Message: July 2024

    https://youtu.be/rSAJBT_97qo

     The City of Orem proudly embraces the motto "Building a Better Orem." We’re always looking to improve and do things better than we did before. Through some recent efficiency changes, we have saved over $2 million dollars that can be reinvested into projects and services that make a big impact for Orem residents. 

    In that spirit of innovation and improvement, the City commissioned MGT, a public sector consulting firm, to conduct an unprecedented citywide efficiency study. The independent project was an in-depth process that analyzed operations and policies across 13 departments and divisions across the City. The study validated areas in which the City excels and highlighted opportunities for change so that we can ensure our taxpayers are getting the absolute best value. 

    The City has gotten straight to work on implementing solutions that improve city services and give our residents more bang for their buck. I would like to highlight a few changes the City has made due to the results of the efficiency study:

    • The City of Orem has updated its policy on procurement thresholds. Basically, how we buy the stuff we need to run the city. This simple update has streamlined business processes and is expected to save the City around $210,000 annually.

    • The City has established a new Division of Strategy and Innovation. This division will work with all City departments to enhance performance, implement data-driven initiatives, and secure substantial grants for City projects. Since the creation of this team, the City has been able to secure over $20 million dollars in grants to fund projects spanning from parks to public safety and everything in between.  That $20 million in grants affects each of our residents directly because it effectively reduces the amount of taxes they would otherwise pay.

    • The report highlighted a need for more staff in areas that would give the City a demonstrative return on investment. For example, based on the study we added to our communications team and have seen a 265 percent increase in online engagement with our residents.

    • The savings we’re accumulating are being reinvested in projects that serve our residents including recreation facilities and programs as well as our public library.

    These are just a few examples of how the City strives to be proactive in generating value in public services for our residents. While the City will continue to implement the recommendations highlighted in the report, the efficiency study has added even more value to the organization's business culture. Since the commission of the study, we have seen City staff embrace a culture of change and innovation. 

    In fact, the consultants noted in their report, and I quote, "... departments were open-minded about findings and eager to learn ways to do better." 

    That is what we’re all about here in Orem. We want to be the best run city in the state and we’re now a few steps closer to that goal. 

    I’ll see you next month. 

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  • The Ride It Forward Program

    Each year the Orem Police Department collects hundreds of bicycles throughout the city that are lost or stolen. These bicycles are then booked into our evidence and held for 365 days to allow owners to claim their property.  At the end of this period, several of these bicycles still go unclaimed and end up in our police auction. If you have a gently used, newer model bicycle that you'd like to donate, call 801-229-7026 and they will help you coordinate a time to drop it off. We also accept monetary donations online. Click here to donate and select PUBLIC SAFETY. Follow those steps and add RIDE IT FORWARD as the note on the donation.  

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  • Orem Named Utah Healthy Community

    Orem was just named a Utah Healthy Community by Get Healthy Utah and the Utah League of Cities and Towns. This designation recognizes communities across Utah that do an exemplary job of implementing evidence-based strategies to improve community health. Mayor Young, Council members Jenn Gale, Jeff Lambson, Tom Macdonald, David Spencer, LaNae Millett, and City Manager Brenn Bybee received the award on the city's behalf.  From the award write-up: "Orem City is busy doing many things to support health in their community! To support physical activity, the city offers free and low-cost community sports programs for adults and children, addressed active transportation connectivity gaps between key destinations, and adopted an ordinance that requires all new subdivisions to provide sidewalks and lights. To support access to healthy food, Orem established a farmer’s market that accepts SNAP benefits, actively promotes enrollment in SNAP, WIC, and other food access programs for those in need, and implemented a new worksite wellness strategy around healthy eating among city employees. Orem City also prioritizes mental health by training first responders on mental health crises and suicide prevention, hosting senior lunch gatherings, and beautifying several social gathering spaces including its local parks."

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  • Fungal Disease Affecting Orem Sycamore Trees

    https://youtu.be/rv_qHxaVU8k

    Overview
    Sycamore anthracnose is a fungal disease that can cause leaf drop, twig dieback, cankers, and the sudden death of more than 90% of a tree’s new shoot growth. Although the disease is rarely fatal and trees will grow a second set of leaves, repeat infections will result in abnormal branching and will leave a tree stressed and more susceptible to other diseases and pests. American sycamore or buttonwood (Platanus
    occidentalis), London plane tree (P. x acerifolia), and Oriental plane tree (P. orientalis) may all be affected by sycamore anthracnose.

    Symptoms and Diagnosis
    Sycamore anthracnose is most common during the cool wet weather of spring and is often mistaken for frost damage. As new leaves unfold, they crinkle and turn brown, wilt rapidly, and fall. Dark and sunken dead areas form along the veins of older leaves eventually expanding to include the entire leaf. The tree may also develop cankers on twigs and older branches resulting in twig dieback and the girdling and death of the larger branches. Small black dots, the fruiting bodies of the fungus, may be visible. The clusters of dead twigs will result in abnormal branching such as witches’ brooms or as the twigs die, break, and fall, the tree will appear ragged. Reportedly, London plane tree is less susceptible to cankers than the American sycamore.


    Life Cycle
    The sycamore anthracnose fungus, Apiognomonia veneta, overwinters in diseased leaves and in cankers on twigs and branches. Spores are produced in spring and spread by rain. If the mean daily temperatures are 50 – 55 degrees F., the spores will germinate and the resulting infections will cause the death of new buds, shoots, and leaves. The disease will be slight or will not occur by late spring or midsummer when
    the mean daily temperatures are 60 degrees F. or greater and the tree will be able to produce a second set of leaves. The fungus may also infect twigs and buds in fall after leaf drop.


    Integrated Pest Management Strategies
    1.  Be patient. The tree may appear to be dead but will probably recover and develop new leaves and shoots.
    2.  Practice good garden sanitation by raking up and disposing of fallen leaves and twigs. 

    3.  Practice good cultural techniques to keep plants healthy and free of drought, and nutritional or injury-induced stress. Water trees twice a month during dry winters.

    4.  Prune out dead branches when possible. Disinfect pruning shears in a 10% bleach solution between cuts to avoid spreading the disease.
    5.  Prune branches to improve air circulation reducing the length of time leaves are wet and thus susceptible to infection.
    6.  Treat with a preventive systemic fungicide. This treatment may require the services of a certified arborist.
    7.  Spray with a preventive fungicide such as lime-sulfur (Bordeaux mixture) or chlorothalonil (daconil) when leaves begin to emerge from buds. Reapply two or three more times at 7-10 day intervals. Fungicides are not effective after the leaves have been infected. Large trees may require the services of a certified arborist.
    8.  Plant resistant species or cultivars. Oriental plane tree (zones 7-9) and London plane tree cultivars, ‘Bloodgood’, ‘Columbia’, and ‘Liberty’ are less susceptible to the disease than the American sycamore.

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  • State of the City Recap

    State of the City Event Recording

    https://youtu.be/Y1B9cjnqA-0

    This past year was one for the record books as elected officials, city staff, volunteers, and city residents teamed up to get an unprecedented number of things accomplished. The full list of accomplishments, awards, and goals for the future was compiled into a booklet that is available online.

    View the State of the City Booklet

    Mayor's State of the City Video

    https://youtu.be/33uvzgmo7sU

    City Council's State of the City Video

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwrWHGsy6vc

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