Summit County Manager Reviews 2019

Dec 26, 2019

Credit Summit County

Summit County had a busy year in 2019.   County Manager Tom Fisher said he could talk about 20 accomplishments or projects that kept him busy.       

During the past year, the county approved a new Mental Health Services contract, with the University of Utah succeeding Valley Mental Health—an effort carried off by Council Members, their Health Department and citizens.     

”We knew it was going to be a difficult thing when you’ve got a long-term provider that was part of that process and part of the bid process, as well as courting new folks to bid on that contract.  And digging into all of those services over the last couple of years to really understand what it is we wanted provided and procured.  And then to get through that in one year was a Herculean effort.”

The county completed the purchase of the 462-acre Gillmor Parcel on the Highway 40 frontage road—while they previously acquired the Cline-Dahle land on Rasmussen Road.

Fisher said they’re not developing those properties yet.   They still need to understand what they want to do there, in terms of services offered and how the parcels will be accessed by mass transit.    A study they commissioned on Cline-Dahle didn’t set a direction there.        

“All we really did in that study that we completed with the University of Utah is determine whether the road system and what we were thinking about in levels of density would work.    It didn’t get down into the details of what we wanna do there or master-planning the property.  So if we get to that point, right now it’s serving fine, just that we don’t develop it.  It’s not hurting anybody, it’s not harming anybody.   But there will be some county needs there in the future that the Council will be tackling.”

On another front, the county helped to get legislation passed—House Bill 411—which enabled the Community Renewable Energy Plan.        

Under that concept, the county and other communities can work with Rocky Mountain Power to obtain 100 percent of their  electricity from renewable sources by at least 2030.

Fisher said one of his top priorities for 2020 is to follow through on that plan.

On land-use items, the Council still has to choose an alignment for a connector road from lower Silver Creek to Bitner Road.   Fisher said they will likely schedule a decision for their meeting of January 22nd.

Meanwhile, they approved a Kimball Junction Master Plan.    It’s undetermined if Dakota Pacific’s proposal for a mixed-use Village on the west side of Kimball will conform to the Master Plan’s principles.    The applicants are going through a series of work meetings with the Snyderville Planning Commission.

On another topic, Fisher said the county is still working with the Central Wasatch Commission, the planning body for the Wasatch Front Canyons.    He said they will pull their staff back a bit from work on the CWC.   Council Member Chris Robinson is now the Chairman of the CWC, and they will let him take the lead.

As for the federal lands of the High Uintas, Fisher said the county will try to help the Forest Service with a plan to reduce fuels in the woods—both to curb fire hazards and to protect their water source.

Finally, Fisher said a major decision next year involves the trash-hauling contract that expires in 2022.  

He said they have to decide if they want to extend the  contract with a private hauler—or if the county wants to collect the trash itself.      

“We’ve just completed a study that we’ll review with the Council starting at the end of January  about that.    Cause we have to make some major decisions, cause it takes a long time not only to go through a bid process, but let’s say we change contractors.   That takes a long time for that new contractor to ramp up and to close out the old one.”

Summit County Manager Tom Fisher