Midway landowners were invited to a meeting last week to find out how to preserve their land using the $5 million open space bond the city passed in November.
Midway’s Open Space Advisory Committee Chair Courtland Nelson estimated around 40 individuals came to the meeting last Thursday. All residents in the 84049 zip code were sent postcards inviting them to the meeting, while all Midway landowners with two acres or more were also sent an invitation along with an informational packet. The evening began with an overview from Midway city planner Michael Henke and remarks from Mayor Celeste Johnson. Utah Open Lands executive director Wendy Fisher and Summit Land Conservancy executive director Cheryl Fox both presented at the meeting.
“T he two of them had worked together to kind of arrange that particular part of the meeting. It was basically a primer or some basic information about how a landowner can be assisted by a third party in finding out about their family’s interest in open lands preservation. How the process works. Information about the role of the city as it relates to potentially receiving some of the bonding money. All of that went very well. Many many questions, it took up probably half an hour which we were hopeful for.”
Nelson says that after the meeting many attendees stuck around and had conversations with Fisher and Fox about potentially preserving their land. Nelson says that landowners interested in preserving land are encouraged to fill out a notice of interest form and return it to the city.
“Then we will communicate with that landowner and answer any questions that they may have at the preliminary step. Then in April we hope to move to more one on one dialogues with those land owners as well as strongly encourage them to work with one of the two organizations that do this professionally or any other individuals that they would like to work with. We are getting our feet underneath us as a committee. We’ve had a number of submittals already I don't know exactly what the total is, but we have had a number of applications. So, I think we're off to a good start.”
Nelson said they had over 10 applicants within the day after the meeting but suspected more had come in during the week.
“For those who are residents here in Midway if you received a landowner packet and you have some interest there’s certainly nothing to be lost by putting in your notice of interest. That's a simple conversation starter and we'd be glad to work with you. I would also mention that next month the Wasatch County bond committee will be having some information about their land owner contacts. That might be another opportunity for residents in Wasatch County who are either in Midway or someplace else in the County to participate also. The Wasatch County bond is more agriculturally based meaning larger pieces of land probably and really looking at that sustainable agriculture.”