Saturday, January 07, 2006

SLC has 3 months to pay for monument

***disclaimer: SLC has 3 months to pay means "Salt Lake City" has 3 months, not the Blogger SLC Library Boy. :) ****

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

SLC has 3 months to pay for monument
By Heather May The Salt Lake Tribune

Fundraiser planned

The organ-donation community will stage a gala Feb. 4 to raise money for patients awaiting organ donors. It costs $2 million a year to keep such Utahns alive. Although the party - with the theme "Mission Possible" - at the Wells Fargo Building is by invitation only, donations will be accepted during a telethon that day and via the Web site
http://www.missionpossible now.org. If extra money is raised, it will be put toward the monument at Library Square.

Salt Lake City has three more months to come up with about $330,000 for a Library Square monument honoring organ donors.

The money was due last month to Big D Construction, which built the Celebration of Life monument in 2004. According to the mayor's office, the company extended the deadline to March 31, allowing Mayor Rocky Anderson more time to raise the funds privately. "They've been extremely patient and very generous," Anderson said Friday. If donations don't come through, taxpayers may have to foot the bill.

The later deadline means Anderson must raise about $100,000 a month.

D.J. Baxter, Anderson's senior adviser, remains "hopeful." "We're going to work as hard as we can to do it. We have a couple of leads on folks we had not approached before for donations."

The $636,000 monument - which includes a fountain and a glass wall with names of organ donors - was supposed to be a gift to the city from the nonprofit Quest for the Gift of Life Foundation. But not all of the money was raised and the foundation has since folded. The mayor - whose family donated $75,000 to the cause - pushed to have the monument built without all the funds in place.

Baxter signed the contract with Big D, putting the city on the hook for the money without City Council approval. The council - which has authorized an audit to find out if the mayor violated state law or city policy in how the monument was approved - has not formed contingency plans to pay the outstanding tab. Council Chairman Dave Buhler joked it should come out of the mayor's $1.6 million budget, but added: "I'd prefer to be optimistic that we'll raise the money and we'll be fine." hmay@sltrib.com