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Long-Time Board Member For Water Reclamation District, Wilking, Has Seen Decades Of Change

Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District

As we’ve reported, operators of the Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District celebrated an upgrade to their Silver Creek plant, which should sustain them for many years into the future.

At the same time,  they saluted Board Chairman Jan Wilking, who has served with the District for just about its entire life.

The upgrade of the Silver Creek plant was celebrated on September 21st, though District Manager Mike Luers noted that it came on line back in April.

The estimated cost for the project was $51 million, but Luers said it was done for a little over $49 million.   He said 93 percent of the cost was paid for by new growth—that is, impact fees—and the rest by current users.         

“So the Silver Creek facility that we just completed will meet our needs for as far out as we can see, assuming zoning doesn’t change dramatically.  However, the East Canyon facility will need to be up—not really updated, but enlarged.  The capacity needs to be increased.  And we’re already starting on that project.  We’ll be starting design for that project next year.”

The new Silver Creek building was adorned with a large plaque honoring long-time Board Member Jan Wilking.      

“We weren’t sure he would be happy to have the facility named after him, so we didn’t go that far.  But the entire facility is in his honor.”

Wilking came to Park City in 1969.    He was on the Park City Council when the Snyderville District was created in 1974.   He began his service in July of that year.

Before that, he recalled, the regional sewer plant was in the city limits—near the present fire station on Holiday Ranch Loop Road.    

“It had reached capacity, and wasn’t meeting treatment standards.   The county could see that there was a lot of growth occurring out in the Snyderville Basin.  And the EPA said that it couldn’t take place unless there was a new district.”

The Snyderville District Board consists of two members elected by city residents, two elected from the Basin, and one appointed by Park City.

Luers said in 1974, almost all their customers were in Park City.    Today, they have nearly 14,000 customers, with a majority in the Basin.

Wilking said that the ups and downs of the economy impact the issues that come to the Water Reclamation Board.       

“If it’s kind of a boom year, then we have to speed up, creating more capacity.   And then during the slow periods, we have the ability to slow down, particularly since the impact fees won’t be coming in to help us pay the bonds.   So we can just take a pause if we need to.”

We asked Wilking why he’s still invested in the job after 46 years.

He said it’s the people.   The board members have performed well, with no squabbles.    Wilking said there’s a quality staff.    And in 46 years, the Snyderville District has only had three managers.        

“Seems like every month, we’ll have a meeting where we’re honoring another employee for being there 15 years, or 20 years, 25 years.   And at the dedication, so many people, so many of the employees came up to me, and just said how much they enjoy working there.   So it’s easy to keep my interest.”

Long-time Board Member for the Snyderville Water Reclamation District, Jan Wilking.

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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