Transit, Renewable Energy Discussed By Snyderville Planning Commission
As part of their agenda on Wednesday, the Summit County Council reviewed two important developments. One deals with transit, and the other with the county’s pursuit of renewable energy.
The Council heard their Transportation Manager, Caroline Rodriguez, announce that the county would be taking over operations of transit that are primarily outside Park City.
Council Member Kim Carson said that’s a change that the county and Park City have discussed at their Joint Transportation Advisory Board meetings, and at joint meetings of the two Councils.
“Park City has recognized that they don’t have the capacity within their jurisdiction to expand their system into a true regional system. And so the county, kind of being the center between Salt Lake County, Wasatch County and both sides of Summit County, that it would be the natural path to take. So we’ve been referring to this as our glide path.”
In order to make a dramatic change by their deadline of next June, the county will hire a consulting firm, Via Transportation Inc. They didn’t put out an RFP, but Carson said that is legal.
“They’re a sole source provider, so they’re the only ones that can provide the array of services that we need right now. It would be much different if we were just hiring a consultant to do a study, or if we were just hiring, or ordering buses through a contract. That would be much different. This will include a study. It’ll include actually getting a transportation system up and running. It will include the technology that brings it all together. And there’s just nobody else. Caroline did a lot of research, and there’s nobody else that can provide that.”
We asked her what the cost for the firm will be, this year and in 2021.
“The initial study will be $75,000. And that’s the contract that Tom will be signing. And then there will be an initial phase B of $3 million. And then there will be additional charges on that, based on various routes. To give you an idea, right now we start about $7 million a year. And I estimate that our total cost, we won’t know this til sometime next winter, will probably be around the $6 million range. That’s just a very early back-of-the-napkin projection at this point.”
On another item, Carson said it was incredibly exciting for the county to complete almost-the-final-step in their Community Renewable Energy Plan with Rocky Mountain Power.
The county, Park City and several other partners entered into an agreement to receive energy from a planned solar farm in Tooele County.
The county’s goal has been to get net 100 percent electricity from renewables, for their government operations, by the year 2030. Carson said with this plan, they will achieve that goal by 2023.
“The contract in June, there was an amendment to the cost because the company was bought out by somebody else,” Carson said. “And they did a recalculation. So it went from, I believe it was 1.3 percent up to a projection of 2.6 percent. That settled in at 2.37 percent. So that’s our actual cost above your typical electricity cost. And there’s four documents that we authorized Tom to sign. Those are the renewable-energy service contract, and there’s an energy appendix and a power-purchase agreement and then a marketing agreement.”
With this step, the county needs only approval from the Public Service Commission for the solar project to start construction next year.