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County Council To Discuss Chalk Creek Road, Water Utilities And More

The Summit County Council is dropping one item from their agenda Wednesday—a field trip, but they have several other topics to keep them busy.

County manager Tom Fisher said the council was scheduled to take a tour of Chalk Creek Road at mid-day but canceled that due to weather and other reasons.

The council is considering whether to extend the paving on Chalk Creek to link up to the Mirror Lake Highway and create another tourist connection to the High Uintas.

Fisher said the idea is still on council’s radar, and they have funding available to begin a study.

“There’s a lot to talk about. The benefits that it could provide as kind of another gateway into the Uintas from the Coalville area but there’s also concerns about that. The Chalk Creek road leading up to that area there’s always concern about truck traffic on that road and adding more traffic might be something to consider in that mix. There’s all sorts, agricultural production, there’s oil and gas production.”

He said the link, a little under 10 miles, would be a county road. The timing about when to do it hasn’t been settled.

“What we had in the budget this year was to study it and come up with a preliminary design. We’re ready to let a contract like that but the council still wants to do some consideration before they make that decision.”

The council begins their open session at about 3:45 at the Coalville Courthouse. Among the items, shortly before 4:00 pm, they will discuss county right-of-way and what activities are appropriate to allow there.

The item is prompted by a request from the Gorgoza Mutual Water Co., which wants to use the county right-of-way on Pinebrook Boulevard for a loading station.

Fisher said it raises a question about water utilities in general.

“They’re a utility just like our other utilities that use the county rights-of-ways to run their services. This proposal is slightly different in that they would be loading water trucks from a spring in order to sell that water. So, it brings up a different question, we haven’t traditionally required water companies to have franchise agreements which is a pretty traditional thing to use a right-of-way. For a profit motive there might be a reason to do that and our ordinance supports that. Really what it comes down to is that the council has to look at the use that’s being proposed in this case and how that would transfer to other utilities that could be asking for the same thing.”

Later on the agenda, shortly after 5:00 pm. The council is considering a series of agreements with the Friends of the Summit County Children’s Justice Center, which will set up a new location for the center.

The Friends group is buying the Belcher parcel, west of the Silver Summit Interchange at Highway 40. They’re paying $1,775,000 for the property and the county will contribute a grant of $250,000.

In turn, the county will lease the center for 25 years, at a cost of $1 a year. The county will also fund maintenance and utilities.

A supplemental agreement also has the county leasing storage space on the property for five years, at a rate of $8,500 a year.

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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