Why Kaysville City is ‘highly concerned’ about a temporary homeless shelter

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — Davis County will be required to provide a temporary shelter for unsheltered individuals beginning in October 2024, and one potential location for the shelter could be in Kaysville.

In accordance with House Bill 499, passed in 2023, second-class counties, or counties with populations between 175,000 and 999,999 people — including Davis County, must provide a temporary winter shelter during certain conditions.

Specifically, the shelters must be available during a Code Blue, or a situation where the temperature is expected to drop to 15 degrees for at least two hours within a 24-hour period.

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After H.B. 499 passed, Davis County established a Homeless Task Force to find a suitable location for the shelter. The decision on the location will ultimately be made by the Davis County Commission.

One building that has been proposed as a potential location for the temporary shelter is a decommissioned diesel emissions testing center north of Deseret Mills in Kaysville.

Online, Kaysville City declared that both the mayor and the city council oppose a shelter at the emissions building, claiming it is unsuitable and saying, “Kaysville City is highly concerned about the effects a shelter would have on the surrounding neighborhoods and businesses.”

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The City of Kaysville argued that it is not a suitable location for the temporary shelter because of how far removed it is from mass transportation and other services that would benefit the shelter’s occupants.

If the emissions center is chosen, Kaysville City said it would cost more than $1 million to turn the building into a suitable shelter location. Kaysville City also said the city council would not be able to override the decision by the County Commission, should the location of the shelter be in Kaysville.

Regardless of where the shelter ends up, it would need to be available between Oct. 15, 2024 and April 30, 2025, under the current bill.

Counties are currently required to submit winter response plans — which include plans and locations for the Code Blue shelters — to the State Office of Homeless Services by Aug. 1, 2024, but the Task Force is working to amend the current legislation.

Davis County’s Homeless Task Force members met with State Homeless Coordinator Wayne Niederhauser to amend a bill and exempt counties who propose long-term solutions from submitting to the temporary shelter requirements, according to Kaysville City.

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