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Summit County Council Meets To Discuss Libraries, North Summit Rec, Pinnacle Subdivision

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North Summit Recreation District
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The Summit County Council has a busy afternoon scheduled, with several different items on their Wednesday agenda. 

The Council already started Monday with a tour, getting an overview of noxious weeds in the county. County Manager Tom Fisher said members of the Weed Board wanted to show the scope of the problem, which is different in the more agricultural East Side from the more suburbanized West Side. Fisher said county officials also want to see if they can eradicate some weed species, not just control them.

On Wednesday, the Council meets at the Coalville Courthouse, starting their work session at about 3:30 p.m.

First up, they will consider whether to implement a pilot program called “Open plus” which will extend hours at the Coalville Library and allow patrons to use some services without needing to have staff on hand.

“The concept could be expanded to 24 hours a day,” Fisher explained. “That’s not what’s being proposed in the pilot. But with the right type of surveillance available, with the right kind of connections to our other branches that have longer hours, our Library Board is proposing that we pilot a program to extend those hours.”

Fisher said it’s a concept that has been successful around the globe. They selected a try-out for the Coalville Library, the branch where hours are the most limited.

We also asked Fisher if the extended hours at the library might be an attraction for vagrants or the homeless.

“I think those natural concerns are always there, Fisher said. “Certainly, the other library systems around the country and around the world have had those same concerns and had dealt with those issues. And we can learn from their best practices around that. Again, it’s a pilot program. We’ll evaluate it, see if we have any of those issues, if we want to extend this any further.”

Later, at about 4:15, the Council will consider a Resolution to put up a ballot proposal this November for the North Summit Recreation District to impose a property tax levy.

The District reports the levy would raise about $85,000 a year. They calculate it will cost $2.38 a month for an average-value residential property, and $4.32 a month for an average commercial property.

Fisher said when the North Summit District was initiated, in the early 2000’s, the intent was always to wean it away from county funding. While some funding is still in place, the County Council plans to reduce that further. Fisher said without a tax levy, the District will have to increase participation fees.

The Council has until August 21st to decide on the Resolution.

The Council will also ratify a couple of appointments to county boards. Among those, Doug Evans, who just retired after many years with the Mountain Regional Water District, is being appointed to the Health Board.

“Yeah, I mean, talk about a public servant that keeps coming back,” Fisher continued. “Yes, he is retiring and that’s a big loss to the Mountain Regional Water and that experience. But what Mountain Regional Water—the Health Board will gain. And the Health Board is taking on a lot of water quality and quantity issues in the county still and we’ll be doing more of that in the future. His expertise will be a good addition to that.”

Finally, at about 5:30, the Council will discuss and possibly make a decision about a request to modify the Pinnacle Subdivision, located in Promontory. A requested amendment will increase the house size from 8,000 square feet to as much as 22,000, and also allow accessory structures.

Fisher said Council Members are considering the impacts of the increase in density.

“They started thinking about, how many people does it take to service a property that’s at that 20,000-square-foot level,” Fisher explained. “What is the carbon footprint around those things. The traffic impacts. Looking at all of those things that are part of the strategic plan and analyzing that. What levels of affordable housing are needed in order to service those size of properties? Y’know when you get to that level, it does produce a work force.” 

Previously, Council Member Kim Carson noted that the request would add over 430,000 square feet to Promontory, while the project has done little, the Council feels, to meet its affordable housing obligation set in its 2001 approval.

Neighbors to the Pinnacle have also complained the revamped project will negatively impact their views of the hillsides and vegetation. To assess that, Fisher said, the Council is taking a field trip to the development site early Wednesday afternoon.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covers Summit County meetings and issues. KPCW snagged him from The Park Record in the '80s, and he's been on air and covering the entire county ever since. He produces the Week In Review podcast, as well a heads the Friday Film Review team.
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