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Summit County Council OKs Budget For Snyderville Recreation District, With Tax Increase

The Summit County Council, meeting on Wednesday, approved the budget for the Sndyerville Recreation District.  

But before the vote,  one of the Council members voiced a concern.   And two more Basin residents spoke out in a public hearing to complain about their increasing taxes.

The Recreation District budget includes a tax increase that would raise $2.4 million a year.   District officials said it’s needed, in large part, to repair and maintain infrastructure and trails they’ve developed in the past 15 years.

However, Council Member Kim Carson said she was also concerned about some $770,000 allocated for capital projects.

Council Chairman Roger Armstrong talked to us about some of the trail and outdoor projects that are receiving that money.

”And we’ve got Discovery coming up, and the trailhead there, and as you recall, with that development we got community benefits which are trails.  And those trails will actually help connect up into Toll Canyon.  So that’s an important trail system coming in.  We’ve got the Gillmor and the Triangle parcels, where they’re gonna have to have trailheads.  Silver Creek Village, as that comes on line, part of the community benefits again for that area, substantial number of fields over there.  So those are gonna have to be built.”

A couple of Council members met on Dec. 6th with the Recreation District.   Armstrong said he came away, feeling that now is the time to put funding into the infrastructure.       

“We can budget for it now, and get the money now, or we can continue this process with yet another Truth In Taxation hearing in a short period of time.  And given what I heard from Basin Rec, I do believe we’ve got a good board there.  We’ve got good management there.  The woman who does the financials is very strong.  And I think now’s just the time to do it, rather than try to  piece it together in a couple of years, and go through the same kind of pain.”

In the end, the Council Members, including Carson, voted for the budget.   But Armstrong noted there’s a caveat in that approval.

“By the way, I don’t want to discount Kim’s comment because I think she’s right, in terms of being very aware of what we’re gonna spend on capital in the future.   Basin Rec won’t set that tax rate until June.    That’s when their tax year starts.   So they will have an opportunity to revisit this again.  And I suspect we as a Council can revisit some of those capital projects again.  And that tax rate could come in lower.”

Armstrong said that proposed tax increases always bring a reaction.    And in particular, it comes from senior citizens.        

“People that are older may not use facilities as much as others in the community.  They’re on fixed incomes.  And any kind of a change tends to cause some level of pain for them.  So I’m sympathetic, but I think that in this community in particular recreation has a very high value.  Maintaining the substantial investments that we’ve made in recreation, not allowing facilities to fall apart.  We heard about the parking lots that we have at trailheads.  If you maintain those like roads, keep slurry coat do regular maintenance, then you don’t have to do the major rebuild.  So I think those are the challenges that we face.   Labor is at an all-time high in terms of an urgent need and difficult to get.”

Summit County Council Member Roger Armstrong.

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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