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West Jordan Journal

West Jordan one of two Utah cities in top 15 of most affordable and safest cities in the U.S.

May 06, 2024 01:20PM ● By Rebecca Olds

An aerial view of West Jordan City Hall. (Courtesy West Jordan City)

West Jordan made it in the top 15 for the safest and most affordable mid-to-large cities in the United States based on a new study published by MoneyGeek.

Cities that outranked West Jordan in the category included cities in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Washington, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado, with Westminster, Colorado having a perfect score.

West Jordan was 15th on the list with a score of 81.

“This recognition highlights your commitment to our community,” Mayor Dirk Burton wrote in his March Mayor Message to residents. “Thank you for being kind to your neighbors which vastly improves quality of life for all of us. Meanwhile, West Jordan continues to provide a secure and accessible living environment for all our residents.”

The ranking is based on several factors analyzed by the company, but primarily based on the researcher’s previous list of 2024’s safest cities analysis, where West Jordan ranked 106th overall.

“The recent data reflects the success of this proactive, education-based approach to policing, which contributes to a sense of safety within our city,” Chief of Police Ken Wallentine said.

Wallentine said officers are “deeply committed to fostering strong community connections” by being actively involved in all aspects of the community because they believe like Martin Luther King said, “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

“In our department we speak and believe that ‘you matter like I matter,’” Wallentine said.

To get feedback from the community, the department initiated easily found surveys through a QR code placed on an officer’s business card to find out how the community perceives officers in the area. 

In addition to the city’s standing as a safe city within the country, the most affordable aspect is because of efforts by the local government to create more affordable housing units, find funding from other sources besides taxes and bring larger businesses to West Jordan, said West Jordan Public Affairs Director Tauni Barker.

The largest investment in transportation infrastructure in the city’s history will kick off in May and be mostly paid for by outside funding, only supplemented with the city’s existing capital investment funds, Barker said. 

During Burton’s first term, the city has secured $30 million in outside funding with the payout lasting decades as the mayor is determined to stretch tax-payer dollars as much as he can. 

For more affordable housing options, the city has approved 9,000 new housing units and encouraged more accessory dwelling units, such as basements, garage studios and/or a second dwelling on a single property.

In four years, the city has welcomed businesses such as The Grace Company and Walker Edison, and expanded established relationships with Aligned, Amazon and Sprung. 

“West Jordan is proud of our city’s reputation as one of the most affordable and safest places to live,” Barker said. “Our commitment to conservative fiscal policies and prudent budgeting practices has not only ensured our financial stability but has also allowed us to invest in vital services and infrastructure while maintaining low taxes.”

“All of these economic development projects contribute to our bottom line, but also provide valuable jobs for our community,” Barker said. 

Layton, Utah was the other Utah city on the list and ranked as the 14th most affordable and safe small cities in the U.S. by MoneyGeek. λ