Salt Lake County will hire a chief information officer to oversee its complicated software system and someone to coordinate its various education-oriented programs.
It will take on three flood-control projects, notably a persistently troublesome storm drain in Murray, add a regional planner to its staff and strive to make the County Government Center more visitor friendly with a new sign system.
Because these additions can be accomplished through money shifts in the 2014 budget — avoiding the need for any new funding — Mayor Ben McAdams secured County Council approval Tuesday for all his midyear budget adjustments.
Getting the go-ahead to hire a chief information officer was the most critical item on the mayor’s priority list. The county has struggled for years to modernize and upgrade its computer software systems.
The council budgeted $200,000 this year for a study on the best approach to managing the system, but the county team setting the stage for that research concluded it would be better just to hire an individual to evaluate and run the system.
That saves some money. The mayor asked for $143,000 to cover that person’s salary and benefits for the rest of the year. The council agreed to set aside the money, but will not release it until the information officer is ready to be hired and a specific dollar amount is set.
Questions also were raised about whether the county was going beyond its realm in hiring an education coordinator.
But human services director Lori Bays said the county already has a $5 million investment in education — from preschool to after-school programs — and a coordinator is needed to avoid duplication of services and increase efficiency.
Recent developments along the 5400 South storm drain also convinced the council it would be best to fix problems plaguing that home-flooding line between 700 West and 1300 West.