Wasatch County Manager Steps Down to Become MIDA Coordinator
Wasatch County Manager Mike Davis has stepped down from his position as county manager to accept a new role as the county’s first MIDA Coordinator, overseeing the unelected body carrying out the development of Mayflower Mountain Resort.
Last week, the Wasatch County Council confirmed Davis as the new MIDA Coordinator and named former Assistant County Manager Dustin Grabau as its Interim County Manager.
MIDA – the Military Installation Development Authority - is the state agency building the Morale, Recreation and Welfare conference hotel at the base of the Mayflower Mountain Resort. The resort is being developed by New York City’s Extell Development Company. Nearly 6,800 acres of property in Wasatch County is contained within the MIDA project area.
In his new role, Davis will serve as liaison to all the service districts MIDA works with in the Jordanelle basin, including the Jordanelle Special Services District, the fire district, and the recreation district. He says he’ll review contracts to make sure that the county’s special service districts are well represented. He’ll also keep a close eye on any state legislation involving MIDA and affecting Wasatch County.
Wasatch County Councilor Mark Nelson told KPCW the MIDA project area is massive and will be developed over the next 5 to 10 years. He said it was time to have someone from Wasatch County oversee all of that.
“Almost every department of Wasatch County is intimately involved in that, in all the services that we provide for that project area, and because it has such a large and significant, both operations and financial, impact on Wasatch County, we thought that it was very important to have a qualified coordinator to make sure that we're working very closely and very effectively with Extell and other developers and with MIDA themselves,” Nelson said.
Davis says the role is a natural fit as he’s been working with the MIDA project since the beginning.
“I think the council is looking for some different direction in the manager's office and so this is an opportunity to do both things they've been talking about trying to get somebody that could just oversee all the MIDA handlings exclusively ... I've had a long run as a manager and I'm grateful for all I've been able to do,” Davis said.
Property values within the area have been frozen and the so-called increment of all future and increasing property valuations will go to MIDA to finance the MWR hotel and other development objectives of the authority.
Davis added that hundreds of parcels within the project area will change status as they are developed, and he’ll be tracking the increment to make sure the taxes the county receives are the taxes it’s entitled to.
Nelson says the council feels Davis is uniquely qualified to take on this new position, given his financial and engineering experience and knowing all of the players involved.
At the same time, Wasatch County loses its manager while it’s one of the fastest growing counties in the country. Nelson says that interim county manager Dustin Grabau will steer the ship for now.
“One of the reasons that we feel confident that we can do that is because our assistant county manager who's now functioning or will be functioning in a couple of days as the interim county manager, Dustin Grabau, is very capable, and we feel like he'll be able to carry us through this search process, until we name a new county manager,” Nelson said. “We have the other advantage that if we need to ask a question or get a bit of consulting, Mike Davis is not too far away.”
Nelson says the county will be seeking a new County Manager soon and he’s hopeful that Grabau will apply. He expects there will be plenty of interest in the position.