AP Photo/David J. Phillip / Associated Press

In the midst of Utah’s most severe drought in decades, two Summit County towns, Oakley and Henefer, have implemented building moratoriums to deal with water scarcity.


This spring, Oakley declared a six-month moratorium on any new building approvals that would require a water connection.



Organizers of the Oakley Fourth of July Rodeo say they will try to put on fireworks shows during the popular annual event, but that they are going to keep an eye on the weather and drought conditions on a daily basis.


The Oakley Rodeo will run from Thursday, July 1 to Saturday, July 3, and then Monday, July 5. 


Oakley Mayor Wade Woolstenhulme told KPCW that the city considered several factors, including Utah’s exceptional drought conditions, before going forward with the fireworks display.


Henefer Town

For this holiday weekend, the focus on the east side of Summit County will naturally fall on Oakley’s annual Fourth of July Rodeo.


However, another town on the northern side of the county is also planning festivities for Independence Day as Henefer is set to host an event at its Town Square on Saturday, July 3.


Ken Woolstenhulme, a former Summit County Commissioner and an icon in Oakley, the town where he lived his entire life, has died at the age of 90.


According to his obituary, Ken Woolstenhulme died in the early morning of Tuesday, June 22, near his birthplace in Oakley.


He was born in November of 1930, the eldest of 11 children.


Oakley City Recorder Amy Rydalch said that Ken and his family have defined the town.


Ken Lund on Flickr

Election season is officially underway as the candidate filing window has closed for municipal elections in Summit County. 


One of the biggest candidate turnouts was in Coalville, where 11 total candidates filed to run in the mayoral and city council races.


Three candidates have filed to replace outgoing Coalville mayor Trever Johnson: City councilor Tyler Rowser, Mark Marsh, and Lynn Wood, a resident who is known for her vocal opposition to the Wohali development. 


Courtesy Oakley City Website

Citing Gov. Spencer Cox’s declaration of a drought emergency, on April 14 the Oakley City Council passed a moratorium on culinary water usage for water features in town including ponds and outdoor pools.


The ordinance halts the use of culinary water for all indoor or outdoor water features that don’t have a culinary purpose including ponds, lakes, outdoor pools and waterfalls.


Courtesy Oakley City Website

A recent public hearing hosted by the Oakley City Planning Commission on their revised development code drew just a couple of comments.    During the session, city officials talked about their ideas for affordable housing—aimed at serving the South Summit area.

The Oakley Planning Commission formulated the code revisions during a six-month moratorium on new development.

Courtesy Oakley City Website

Last July, Oakley City implemented a development moratorium in order to update their Land Management Code.

The six months for the freeze will be up next week, and results will be unveiled for citizens.

Utah law allows Temporary Zoning Moratoriums for six months.     Oakley’s halt on all subdivision applications and building permit approvals went into effect on July 23rd.

City planner Stephanie Woolstenhulme said the city thought it was time to review and update their General Plan and their Land Use Code.

Dog Shot In Oakley

Dec 31, 2020
Sandy Geldolf

Utah code allows people to shoot and kill a dog chasing livestock or wildlife. One dog owner in Oakley found this out first-hand when her dog was shot a few days before Christmas.

Summit County

The coronavirus was a major topic for a special meeting of the Council of Governments held on Tuesday, where attendees traded concerns about how they will enforce the county’s mandatory mask order.

On the positive side, they heard that the Oakley Rodeo went well, though it was scaled-down and COVID-conscious.


Among the comments during the COG meeting, Kamas Mayor Matt McCormick said he supports the mask order, given the number of people who come through Kamas. But he said it’s also frustrating for him and the town’s police force.

Summit County Sheriff's Department

Among the incidents reported by the Summit County Sheriff’s office, a domestic violence call on Wednesday brought out a heavy response, and led to a very short lockdown notice given to schools in South Summit.

Sheriff’s Lieutenant Andrew Wright said they got a call at about 1:45 p.m. from Oakley.

The suspect was a 45-year-old husband whose whereabouts were unknown at first. Officers were told that he had threatened to shoot his wife, and possibly his children. Lt. Wright said the call brought out nine county deputies, a Highway Patrol officer and two Kamas police officers.

Courtesy Oakley City Website

The City Council of Oakley met earlier this week and made an appointment to replace a vacancy on their council.

A city representative told KPCW this week that council member Dave Edmunds has resigned, since he moved out of town. Edmunds, a former Summit County Sheriff was elected in 2017 to the city position.

The council received three applications. They selected Craig Rydalch, who is the proprietor of the Salt Lake company Rydalch Electric.

Courtesy Oakley City Website

Oakley Mayor Wade Woolstenhulme notes that his City Council supported Summit County’s new transit taxes. The council was a little apprehensive, given all the other proposals pending for new taxes.

Mayor Woolstenhulme explained why his Council supported the new taxes.

Courtesy Oakley City Website

Oakley Mayor Wade Woolstenhulme said they went through a learning experience last month, when one of their major well sources required some repair and maintenance.

The Mayor said the problem occurred at a well with, maybe, a fitting name.

Oakley City

One of Summit County’s major events every summer is the Oakley Rodeo. The 83rd annual edition is running this year from the 4th until Saturday the 7th. Oakley Mayor Wade Woolstenhulme said all the dates are sold out for one of the most renowned rodeos in the country.

Mayor Woolstenhulme said that at this point, they have plans for a professional firework show every night of the rodeo