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Cottonwood Heights mayor visits DC to meet federal leaders and pursue funding

Utah (USA) flag waving on the wind
Lulla -
Utah (USA) flag waving on the wind

Mike Weichers, mayor of Cottonwood Heights, is at The National League of Cities' Congressional City Conference being held in Washington, D.C., this week, to meet with federal officials and learn about federal projects and funding.

Weichers said he attended in 2022 and found it to be a "valuable experience." This year he is attending along with the entire Cottonwood Heights council.

Weichers pointed out many city leaders in the West are concerned about housing challenges and how to address them, as many feel the federal government wants cities to do more.

"In Utah, we have entitled 95,000 units for building," Weichers noted. "Yet the issues that are really stopping some of the ability to get homes and high-density housing built is more based on market conditions."

In addition, Weichers explained many bills passed during the state's legislative session limit and restrict land-use authority from cities, making the issue much more complicated.

Weichers is one of over 2,800 elected officials visiting the Capitol. He stressed it is important to feel a sense of unity and support among leaders.

The city of Cottonwood Heights is interested in finding out about possible funding for a town square. Weichers explained that before Cottonwood Heights was a city, it was part of unincorporated Salt Lake County, which meant the community did not have "the ability to build the city from scratch."

"So we are trying to find community opportunities for people to gather," Weichers stressed. "A town square-type area is something that we are really interested in and hopefully getting some federal support for."

Those in attendance celebrated the two-year anniversary of the American Rescue Plan, which delivered an estimated $65.1 billion of direct federal aid to cities, towns and villages.