Salt Lake City is poised to build some big projects. See where the new parks and trailheads may go.

They’re all part of a multimillion-dollar capital improvement push.

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The Salt Lake City Council has millions to dedicate to community projects — with possibly more on the way — and this year, a big swath of the improvement ideas are coming from residents.

Suggestions include new parks for the west side and fixes for existing ones. City-owned buildings could see upgrades, and so could urban trailheads. Certain funds must be spent on transportation and improving roads, but that leaves room for some creativity.

The City Council is set to vote on this fiscal year’s proposals by month’s end, but it’s all part of a capital improvement program that’s a year-round process. City employees in departments like engineering and public lands submit suggestions, as do community members and business districts. The ideas are fielded by a volunteer advisory board, then the mayor makes recommendations to the City Council, which holds the purse strings.

This year, the list is long, with 75 total projects. Of those, nearly a third came from community members (as opposed to internal recommendations from city employees), which is also a big tally.

“Last year, the process was a little different,” said City Council Chair Amy Fowler. “We didn’t do any constituent-initiated applications, and that was really hard for me.”

Fowler called community input the “heart” of the capital improvement program.

Mayor Erin Mendenhall encouraged residents to submit ideas this fall for next year’s cycle.

“I also can’t emphasize enough how important the role of equity and inclusion as a factor in the distribution of this funding will always be for us,” the mayor said in a short written statement.

Projects need to enhance city property like public lands, buildings, streets and trails. They must cost $50,000 or more and have a useful life of at least five years.

The council set aside $37.4 million for its capital improvements this year, and Mendenhall has recommended a $58 million bond (which will not raise taxes, since the city recently paid off a larger bond) to fund more projects. Plus, the council is about to receive a big influx of federal dollars through the American Rescue Plan that could be funneled to even more improvements, although the exact amount coming to the capital city isn’t yet known.

“It’s all still up in the air in a lot of ways,” Fowler said. “[But] that’s kind of an exciting thing as well, being able to spread the love a little more.”

The council likely won’t make a final decision on which proposals to fund until Aug. 24, and the public can weigh in during comment periods at the council’s formal meetings on Aug. 17 and Aug. 24.

In the meantime, here are some of the big projects that could be coming to neighborhoods throughout the city.

Glendale water park redevelopment

A regional park is coming to the west side, replacing the shuttered and derelict Raging Waters. It’s also receiving one of the largest piles of capital improvement money.

The mayor has requested $3.2 million to revamp the 17-acre site, located in the Glendale neighborhood.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) The old Raging Waters water park, seen in this file photo, is in such disrepair that Salt Lake City plans to disassemble and replace it with a regional park comparable to Liberty or Sugar House parks.

If the mayor’s requested bond gets approved, documents from city staffers show the park could get another $10 million to add a splash pad, public art and water sports rentals next to the Jordan River and possibly a swimming pool.

Expansion of Three Creeks Confluence Park

Salt Lake City debuted its newest park last month, where three creeks meet the Jordan River.

Also located in the Glendale neighborhood, the Three Creeks Confluence Park unburied three Jordan River tributaries — Red Butte, Emigration and Parleys creeks. The city spent $3 million enhancing the area with bridges, fishing access and a play area with repurposed logs from trees felled by last year’s hurricane-force windstorm.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Three Creeks Confluence Park opened on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in the Glendale neighborhood on the east bank of the Jordan River. A capital improvement proposal would expand the park to the river's west bank.

All those improvements were on the river’s east bank. A capital improvement proposal for the coming fiscal year would expand the park to the west bank as well, costing $650,000.

Downtown green loop

Salt Lake City is known for its wide downtown streets, and a $610,000 request would add a linear park system to some of those roads as part of a broader “green loop” vision.

The downtown green loop is an idea the city has discussed for nearly two decades, according to council staffers, and the end goal is detailed in a 2016 master plan for the area. A series of green medians would link downtown districts over 8 miles, providing a safe place for active transportation and park space for areas lacking those amenities.

(Image via Salt Lake City Downtown Master Plan) This map shows Salt Lake City's vision for a "green loop," connecting downtown districts with a series of linear parks and landscaped boulevards. The city's 2021-2022 capital improvement proposals includes funding to build the linear park running along 200 East.

The city previously added the first of those linear parks to 500 West near The Gateway, and this year’s proposal would bring landscaped medians to a stretch of 200 East from South Temple to 900 South.

Foothills trail development

The capital improvement list includes $425,000 for buying land in Salt Lake City’s foothills and $1.3 million for trailhead upgrades, all part of an ongoing expansion project. And the mayor’s bond proposal earmarks another $5.3 million for Phase II of the Foothills Trails System Plan, which would overhaul the Victory Road, Popperton Park, Bonneville Boulevard, I Street and Emigration trailheads.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Bicyclists ride on a downhill only trail, in the foothills above Salt Lake City, near City Creek Canyon, on Saturday, May 8, 2021.

Phase I of the Foothills plan has proved controversial, however, with residents complaining new trail work is unstable, an eyesore and focuses too much on bikers versus hikers.

Allen Park building rehab

Last year, Salt Lake City spent $7.5 million to rescue the run-down Allen Park, dubbed “Hobbitville,” from getting bulldozed by developers. This year, the mayor requested $420,000 from the capital improvement budget to begin fixing up its historic buildings.

The ultimate goal is to transform the park into an artists’ village with creative spaces and concessions.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) One of about a dozen historic structures at Allen Park is seen in this file photo from 2019.

If the mayor’s proposed bond gets the green light, another $1.3 million would go to rehabilitating the park. Its existing structures need major work. They’re currently in rough shape and connected to septic systems.

Park sports court repairs

Just under $100,000 could go to Liberty Park to resurface its cracked and aging basketball court and replace the hoops. Fowler, the City Council chair, said this is one of the projects she’s most excited about because a resident who coaches local kids suggested it.

“It was a constituent-led effort,” Fowler said. “He called me a couple of years ago and said, ‘We don’t want to have to go somewhere else, but it’s dangerous. I can’t have the kids playing on a basketball court that could injure them.’”

The mayor has also recommended about $433,000 to tear out two 40-year-old, crumbling tennis courts at Poplar Grove Park. In their place, the city would either build two new tennis courts or six pickleball courts. If the community opts to go with pickleball, the park could become a destination for tournaments. The city recently upgraded the park’s restrooms and built a concession stand, which isn’t getting much use.

“Overall,” the mayor said, “I am looking forward to seeing the impacts these community-driven projects have on Salt Lake City in the years to come.”