Wasatch County Council Discuss Snowmaking And Secondary Water Rates
Snowmaking and secondary rates was the issue at hand at the final special service district meetings of 2019 in Wasatch County. On Tuesday the Wasatch County Council discussed issues pertaining to water in both the Jordanelle and Twin Creeks Special Service Districts.
While setting dates and times for 2020 special service district meetings and amending and adopting budgets the Wasatch County Council heard from Mayflower Mountain Resort who came asking for the creation of a new improvement district or special service district under the jurisdiction of the Military Instillation Development Authority or MIDA.
Mayflower Mountain Resort is the new ski resort being constructed in Wasatch County near the Mayflower exit on US 40. The resort, when built out will feature 1,000 private residences and multiple luxury hotels, including 100 rooms available to military members at a discounted rate.
At the Jordanelle Special Service District, or SSD, meeting Mayflower Mountain Resort requested the new district in order to finance the construction of the untreated water system on the properties which would be used primarily for snowmaking. Attorney Robert McConnell representing Extell addressed the council regarding the request.
“We had understood that the JSSD wasn't interested in floating the bonds necessary to finance those,” McConnell continued. “That’s something that we've been exploring and so that's why we were talking to MIDA about this proposal. We wanted to bring it to your attention to make sure that you didn't have an objection with respect to it.”
All culinary water would still remain part of the Jordanelle SSD, however the resort would own all of the untreated water system on the property, used to create snow. The resort would be totally responsible for maintenance, operations and replacement of those facilities. McConnell and Jordanelle SSD Manager Ron Phillips explain how the new district would act as a financing mechanism.
“This district would be funded through a bond and assessments against the properties within the district that would repay that bond,” McConnell explained.
“So, MIDA would be the creating entity,” Council Member Danny Goode asked?
“Yes,” McConnell answered, “So, JSSD’s credit isn't involved in any way, shape, or form but with that.”
“I see this just as a financing mechanism that the Mayflower Mountain Resort owners are using to finance their snowmaking system,” Phillips added. “It would be much like Deer Valley and Park City are maintained and operated.”
The council voted to continue the item to their next meeting in order to heard directly from MIDA, who would oversee the district.
Additionally, the council voted to update the Secondary water Rate Schedule in the Twins Creek Special Service District. Secondary water users within the area, located on the east end of the valley, will see an increase in secondary water rates. Councilman Steve Farrell expressed his disappointment with the increase but felt it was the only option to keep up with rising costs to provide services.
“I don't like this system because the costs get so high that we’re forcing people to develop and utilize it,” Farrell said. “But I like the system because we don't have another answer, because I don't know. It's a problem, we don’t know how to solve it and what we’ve proposed is probably the best answer that’s out there.”
The increase passed unanimously with councilmember Kendal Crittenden being absent.