Possible Shelter the Homeless action would bypass SSLC’s conditions
Aug 19, 2019 03:40PM
● By Bill Hardesty
The Division of Workforce Services will take over ownership of the 1000 West Homeless Resource Center if the Shelter the Homeless board asks. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)
By Bill Hardesty | [email protected]
On July 31, South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood gave an update about the 1000 West Homeless Resource Center to the City Council.
She reminded the council the HRC was for a low-need population and indicated the city was ready to issue a Certificate of Occupancy as soon as the building is completed. Getting the building completed is not a sure bet. The ownership is also still in doubt.
Wood shared parts of an email sent to the Shelter the Homeless board from Lt. Governor Spencer Cox and Jon Pierpont, executive director of Workforce Services, she received earlier that day.
Cox and Pierpont pointed out a new problem affecting the HRCs under construction.
"What was once highlighted as a slight delay because of weather and holdups with South Salt Lake, is now being affected by nonpayment to subcontractors. Ryan Bevan with Gardner Co. informed state staff that the South Salt Lake Center was tracking to be completed August 31 but is now scheduled for September 17 because of non-payment."
The email went on to explain that subcontractors are owed $13 million for past work, and they aren't showing up to finish work because of nonpayment. The lack of payment is due to a cash flow issue and Shelter the Homeless is seeking a $21 million bridge loan from Salt Lake County. Stated another way, STH is seeking a loan from the residents of Salt Lake County.
The nonpayment issue is also hurting the women's HRC in Salt Lake City that celebrated a ribbon cutting in June but has yet to open because "punch list" items are not completed by non-payed subcontractors. It is also delaying the 1000 West HRC. It was reported these delays were due to weather and permit issues.
"The reality now is that we can no longer stand by saying that construction delays are a result of weather or permitting issues. Moving forward, construction delays will be a result of payment issues, which puts the responsibility solely on Shelter the Homeless," Cox and Pierpont wrote.
The delay for the loan is due to STH providing all required documentation to the county for approval. As of this writing, any council action is not scheduled.
As stated in an earlier article, SSLC needs to issue a CUP (conditional use permit) to allow Shelter the Homeless and their agent, The Road Home, to operate the HRC. Discussion and recommendation of the CUP by the planning commission is scheduled for Aug. 15 with city council action to follow shortly.
Christine Richman, project manager for the city, indicated in the city council meeting that "Shelter the Homeless is fine with 25% of the conditions, conceptionally fine with 50%, but see 25% as nonnegotiable."
That 25% might cause action by the Shelter the Homeless board of directors. As reported earlier, Preston Cochrane, executive director of Shelter the Homeless, asked the board to consider passing a resolution to transfer ownership to the state. This would bypass any need for a CUP.
“The Cox email changes things a lot," Wood told the council.
However, Jonathan Hardy, division director of Utah Housing and Community Development sees it differently.
"The Cox email has nothing to do with the resolution process," he said in a telephone interview.
He explained that if STH passes a resolution, the state would file a quick claim deed for the 1000 West property. They would then execute a leaseback agreement with Shelter the Homeless, who would in turn contract with The Road Home to run the HRC. Basically, leaving SSLC and any conditions desired out in the cold.
"If the resolution is passed, the state is ready to execute the deed," Hardy said.