In keeping with his campaign promises to bring more unity and transparency between residents and administration in Provo, Mayor John Curtis hosted a community gathering Thursday at the Covey Center for the Arts to discuss the state of the city.
The mayor opened the evening with an overview of all of the projects, developments and improvements being made in the city, with special emphasis on iProvo.
Speaking to about 40 residents, Curtis said he not only is changing the approach to iProvo, but the name is also gone. "If I could, I would get a plot in the city cemetery and bury it. iProvo is gone, it was sold. I would never like to utter iProvo again."
Curtis is calling the fiber optics network that connects the whole city "The Network." "We are one of the handful of cities in the world that is connected by a fiber optic network. Do you know how much that brings in business to our city?"
Curtis announced last week that it was time for the city to look at the concerns of iProvo through a different light and to quit thinking of it as a "millstone" around the city's neck. "We must admit that to a point, it's better for the city to have Veracity run it. We're incredibly lucky to have Veracity as our current partner. They are absorbing some of the gap [revenue losses] themselves."
The mayor's philosophy took a turn after publicity surrounding an e-mail inviting council members in groups of three to a meeting on iProvo. The contingency plan that was presented in those meetings was brought to the public Thursday. He said a committee was formed to develop a plan B if the city had to take back iProvo.
However, that had changed. Veracity is 109 percent of projections, and the mayor said its time to move on.
Curtis also talked about the Provo Airport. "We right now have talked with several airlines. We are working on a grant the could help us get scheduled service to Provo. It's a game changer."
The mayor returned from a quick trip to Washington, D.C., where he met with the Utah delegation and the FAA. The potential for a commercial airline coming to Provo will increase if a grant is given. Curtis says he feels positive about what is happening.
Curtis said he will continue to have these interim meetings for residents to come and learn about what's happening in the city and to ask questions. The next interim meeting is scheduled for Jan. 13.