The lingering effects of the Great Recession haven't slowed down economic development efforts in West Valley City staffers there have continued to entice new businesses to the community.
Their work has been so successful that they won a medal in the Best of State city planning category and were named the top winner in the overall community development division.
Also snagging an award at a May 22 gala was Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall, who was named Best of State Mayor.
More than 100 judges for the Best of State organization voted on winners in various categories and in overall contest divisions based on how they excel in their endeavors, use innovative approaches or methods and contribute to a better quality of life in Utah.
Nicole Cottle, West Valley's director of community and economic development, said the projects are supporting the city's vision of growth.
A major endeavor is the downtown Fairbourne Station, which is expected to be built out in the next seven to 10 years with an estimated $500 million of private investment. The project will include residential, retail, hotel, office and green space next to a transportation hub.
In neighboring Taylorsville, Wall's leadership was a factor in his award. When he saw a need for more after-school programs in the Fremont Elementary area, the mayor brought together several groups.
Granite School District dedicated an underused piece of land next to the school for a new facility, and the city committed much of its Community Development Block Grant funding for construction. Now the YMCA runs the center, holding day and evening programs.
An entry form nominating Wall, who has been mayor of the west-side city since 2006, cites his efforts to improve transportation and the numerous community and government boards on which he sits.