The diagnosis is in - Orem and Provo are healthy and growing.
At least that is the opinion of the cities' mayors, who spoke to members of the Provo-Orem Chamber of Commerce Friday afternoon about how each city had fared over the past year."Utah County is really helping the state economically," said Provo City mayor Joe Jenkins.
Provo, a city of about 87,000 according to the last census, is doing so well that it was able to reduce its property taxes by 9.5 percent during 1990.
There is an increase in economic development, Jenkins said. Nu-Skin is planning to have a 10-story office building completed within the next 10 to 11 months and East Bay and Novell, Inc. are also expanding.
"We are continuing to grow," while much of the nation is in a recession, he said.
According to Jenkins, many of the changes have happened because of the diversified economy that is developing in Provo.
"In the past we have been tied to only U.S. Steel and BYU," he said. Now that the economy is diversifying, if something happens in one industry, the area can fall back on something else for economic strength.
Jenkins said Geneva Steel and BYU have helped Provo a lot economically and now the city is seeing the growth of high-tech industries, too.
"We haven't focused enough on tourism, that is why we are pushing so hard for Seven Peaks," he said.
Orem Mayor S. Blaine Willes feels his city is healthy, but also pointed out some areas of concern for the coming year.
Orem's population is now about 67,000 and Willes said the size has helped in commercial and residential development.
"We are seeing an influx of cultural, religious and ethnic minorities in the city," Willes said. The city has addressed the diversity by creating a Human Relations Commission that Willes feels is a great accomplishment.
He also said he believes the fundamentals are significant and even though maintaining streets, sewer and water systems isn't "glamorous," smooth operations of such systems is what keeps a city going.
Two concerns for Orem's future are the effects of the recession and environmental issues.
"I am concerned about people's jobs and also the effect the recession may have on the city's revenues, which provide services the residents want to have," Willes said.
Willes said he feels the costs of working with environmental issues may be great, but the city has a "bright future" in this area.
There are plans to build a 55-acre park and recreational facility in the city. "This kind of thing makes you have a good day," Willes said, "When you set aside someplace specifically for the beautification of the city and the enjoyment of the citizens.