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County Council Plans for 2021

The Summit County Council, meeting in a special meeting on Nov. 23rd, looked at the goals they will have next year in several departments—including transit, historical preservation, and servicing neighborhoods near their boundary with Wasatch County.   

As part of their electronic meeting, the Council got an introduction to the issue of cross-county services.   That is, the county has residential areas along Highway 248 that may want to obtain their water or sewer service from the nearby Jordanelle area in Wasatch County.
Council Member Kim Carson said they have to figure out how to plan for those contingencies.   And the planning has to be regional.

“We’ve had quite a few requests from property owners that are in Summit County, but butt up to some of the Jordanelle properties that are in Wasatch County, that already have service from Jordanelle Special Service District for water and sewer.  So we want to get everybody to the table.   There’s also transportation issues and there’s other jurisdictions involved.”

She said the county is running a risk.

“If we don’t do it, we risk having future land use decisions being made outside of our normal processes—going through the Community Development Department.  And we’ll see incremental development, which is what happened across the Snyderville Basin, where you have these small water companies formed.   And people on septic or—there may be opportunities for these alternative on-site water systems that can serve several homes—or having decisions just handed down from the legislature.”

She noted that the town of Hideout, and its plans for growth and annexation into Summit County, is a complicating factor here.     In addition, if water service crosses from the Provo River drainage to the Weber River drainage, that raises a region-wide issue.

“That is something that’s not looked on favorably whatsoever.  It’s those people downriver in those drainages are expecting that water to come that way.   So I have no idea how they just make those decisions, that they have to do a swap of some kind, or something like that.   But there’s just a lot of questions.   And these are some of the questions we had with Hideout.  When they were formed, they never went through—they never did a feasibility study to look at questions like these, and how they would be answered.”

They also got a presentation from Joe Frazier, who became their County Historian this year.    Carson said Frazier has made some good headway in his inventory of the county’s artifacts and objects.    But on another objective—transferring their books and documents to digital format—he didn’t make as much progress as he had hoped this year.

A county ordinance governs the history program.   Carson said they will meet next year to look at how they’re complying with the ordinance.

And the Council reviewed plans for a county Transit District.    Carson said at this point, they’re thinking the District will have a General Manger—as well as a seven-member board that would include two Council Members—as well as representatives from business, the local workforce and planning.

Council Member Roger Armstrong said he was concerned if the county will have enough control over the District.   We asked Carson about her take.

“There’s probably a difference of opinion on the Council right now on that.  I think he raised a good question.  I think having two Council Members on that Board provides input and oversight.  It would still be much different, cause those are actual decision-makers.  Whereas when we were members of JTAB, with Park City Transit, we make recommendations.  We don’t actually make the final decisions.  So I think this is a much different structure than what we’ve had at JTAB and that relationship.”

The Council is also considering a new distinctive name for the transit system.    Carson said she doesn’t favor a name that would refer to just Snyderville, Summit County or some other limited area.    Two of her favorite choices, she said, are “High Valley Transit” or “The Peak.”

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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