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County Council Agenda Includes Sewer Service, County History, And Lighting Regulations

The Summit County Council, with a long, busy agenda for their Wednesday session, will be dealing with sewer service, history, lighting regulations, and the visibility of a proposed cell tower.

The council is meeting in the Coalville Courthouse.

Among the items, at about 3:30, they’re being asked to amend the Voluntary Assessment Area set up in lower Silver Creek to run in sewer service. As County Manager Tom Fisher noted, this is good news since a new lot owner is joining to share the cost of the sewer assessments.

“Absolutely, always good news when we add property owners. I was actually discussing this on email last night to figure out where we’re at in the break-even process. My memory serves me, it doesn’t always serve me well, but my memory says, that we are at break even.”

Fisher said lot owners there have made a good decision to join the Assessment District.

“We really worked hard to make a good business case around this for this business area to make it worthwhile to hook onto sewer and we continue to see people wanting to join so that it makes it a better decision and better for our water quality.” Fisher says that he doesn’t think there’s a point where it becomes too late to join in. “The cost goes up over time because you have to participate at the same level that everybody else did. Maybe it’s not overall costs but it’s the upfront hit that you have to take if you’re not in early.”

Right after that, the council will present Proclamations to honor two retiring county employees—Susan Ovard, leaving Community Development after 18 years, and John Jensen, who has been with the Road Department five years.

Fisher said they will find replacements for those positions, which are essential.

“This is a key support position within the community development department. Of course, Pat’s in charge but Susan really runs the place. She keeps everything moving forward as a lot of our support personnel do. And then John is retiring out of our road crew. He’s been spending his time pluming roads and we absolutely have to have those positions filled in order to service the community.”

Meanwhile, as we’ve reported, they won’t immediately replace retiring County Historian Navee Vernon. Fisher said they will use the budget process to decide what they want their History Division to do in the future.

“Certainly, Navee had a focus on documenting our history through books that was her specialty. Plus, she did a lot of work on monumenting some of our history throughout the county and leading tours and talking to people about that history. History has a whole gambit of other things when it comes to, she also built the museum that’s in the basement of the courthouse, we don’t have right now a good archive of all of the materials that we have. That could be an early focus of the next person that would fill that position. So, we’re stepping back and taking a look at it first.” Fisher said that the museum will stay where it is.”

Later, at 4:30, the council will hear an appeal. Applicants for Skyway Cell Tower asked for a Conditional Use Permit for a site in Woodland, but were turned down by the East County Planning Commission.

Fisher said the issue focuses on the visibility of the tower.

“It has to do with whether its stealthy enough. I think stealth was the word they used in the staff report. I imagine there’s some judgment with that. One of the comments that I saw on the staff report that there are no 140-foot trees in this area that this could blend in with. Using a treescape for this tower would be the treatment. So the council needs to look at that and the merits of the appellant to see whether they’re going to go a different direction or not.”

And at 6:00 pm, the council will hold a hearing and consider a vote on an Amendment to the East County Code, allowing for historic structures to be saved through adaptive re-use.

The Snyderville Code already has the same process, which recently led an old General Store along Highway 224 being changed to a coffee shop.

Fisher said the Eastern Planning Commissioners are excited about the change.

“We have not had very strong code language that helps with the preservation of historic structures. This obviously provides a much better incentive to do that. So they forwarded this up the planning commission talked about it last week and the council’s excited to see it.”

Finally, the council will hold twin public hearings, for proposed new lighting regulations for both the East County Code and Snyderville Code.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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