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Summit Council Members Question Paving Road To Wasatch County

Summit County Council 2019

The Summit County Council Wednesday did not come to a decision to approve a request from the Tuhaye Development, to pave a road in South Summit that is an access to their residences.

Council Members asked why they should take on the expense of a new paved road, for the benefit of a development that’s in Wasatch County.

The paving would take place, for about 1.2 miles, on what is known as the Gun Club Road, which runs south from Highway 248 and connects to Tuhaye and Wasatch County.

County Public Works Director Derrick Radke said he is recommending the paving.    He said currently they grade that road a couple of times a year.   They also plow it in the winter, but don’t put de-icer on the road.

He added that with a paved road, they would get some additional funds from the state in Class B road funds.       

“The proposed road meets county standards.   Workmanship will be verified by the Engineering Division.  Improvement will eliminate most complaints, except for speeding.  My guess is we’ll still get those complaints.   I estimate that we will see an additional $900-1000 a year going from a gravel section to a paved section, just from our Class B.  It will reduce our annual gravel maintenance costs.  We’ll be able to improve our winter maintenance.  We can de-ice when it’s necessary.  And I think it will improve overall safety.”

He was asked what the added cost of maintenance would be.

“Long term, it will cost more to maintain an asphalt road.  So every five years, we’ll be chip-sealing it.  A mile of it’s probably 30-something thousand dollars.  And every 20, 25 years, we’ll have to probably do an overlay, so that’s whatever that cost is at the time.  So will it cost more?  Yes.  But it will also cut down our springtime workload.  We can concentrate on other things.”

Council Chairman Doug Clyde sarcastically thanked Tuhaye developers for putting an added burden on the county—while some other road areas are not addressed.      

“We don’t give a gnat’s bum about what happens up in Silver Creek.   But we’re gonna bend over backwards to pave this road.   This is an ongoing cost to the county.   And it’s benefit appears to be primarily as a back door to Tuhaye, so that they don’t have to let any of their construction workers drive through their gate.  Because Heaven forbid you wouldn’t want the public to know that there are actually construction workers that came into your community.   So we’re gonna bring em in the back way now, which is going to increase traffic in the county, and going to increase our maintenance costs.  (Radke) The traffic’s already there.  (Clyde) Well, yeah but, trust me, if it gets paved, you know as well as I do that—(Radke) I don’t believe they let any of their construction traffic go through the front gate.”

The Council did hear from one local landowner in favor of the paving.   David Cummings said he currently runs sheep down that road.     He said other motorists and owners would favor the project.     

“You got a lot of people that use the Gun Club out there.   And I know personal experience, I’ve went out many a night and pulled trucks off that road in the winter, so.  I’d love to be able to see it paved.  And I think there’s a lot of other residents also that would love to see it being paved.   I think it’s a benefit.”

He also acknowledged that the road would access his property in Wasatch County, where he has a Master Plan development approval.    Council Member Kim Carson noted again, the concern from Summit County.      

“(Cummings)  And that’ll actually be my primary access through the project.  (Carson) That’s another concern, though.   Wasatch County’s getting all the benefit from those tax dollars, but we’re having to maintain that road on an ongoing basis.   So it’s great for you, but not so much for other..”

Carson suggested that a couple of Council Members and County Manager Tom Fisher, get in touch with Wasatch County Planning Director Doug Smith.

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.