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Wasatch County

Decisions on Wasatch County RV park, 2022 budget delayed after public hearings

strawberry_reservoir_-_leslie_thatcher.jpg
Leslie Thatcher
/
KPCW
The proposed RV park would be on 20 acres off Highway 40 near the Strawberry Reservoir.

Although it didn’t take action, the Wasatch County Council heard feedback against a proposed RV park near Strawberry Reservoir, and moved closer to adopting the 2022 county budget.

The RV park would develop a 20-acre parcel near the Strawberry Reservoir along Highway 40, adding five cabins, about 20 RV parking spots and space for animals, trailers and picnic tables to the site.

A half dozen community members asked the council not to approve that project, including Alan Throndson of Heber City, who owns a cabin in Strawberry Lake Estates. He says from his backyard, he has “the best view of anybody” of the project site.

“On the very face, I believe that it should be denied. I purchased my property based on the surrounding zoning and what it was zoned at that time, and to rezone it now and to build something like this would definitely adversely affect me. I believe that if this were to be approved, if it were to be built, [with] the additional traffic through there, the additional people through there, we’ll see an increase in vandalism in the surrounding HOAs, we’ll see increasing theft, and I just don’t think it’s worth it. I’d ask that you deny it.”

Residents voiced other concerns, including water availability and road safety. One said there’s already an RV park within 15 miles that “is never full.”

The council decided to delay the decision until December 15 to give the applicant a chance to respond.

The council also postponed adopting a proposed $30 million budget for next year.

That’s in order to add a separate MIDA section to the budget. MIDA is the Military Installation Development Authority, a state agency created by the Utah Legislature to develop military land around the Mayflower Resort and land near the Jordanelle Reservoir.

Interim County Manager Dustin Grabau said the county’s contribution to the Mayflower Resort’s start-up costs is outweighing returns, although property tax revenues from the project will pay off down the road.

“I think in the long run, the hope is the municipal revenues from MIDA will offset the other costs that we’re incurring and the property taxes that we’re foregoing through the project. I think right now, we are not covering the costs of it. We have specific line items in our budget for MIDA. They’re not significant yet - you know, they’re only in the order of about $50,000 - but those will be significant.”

Councilman Steve Farrell supported that tracking plan, saying the sooner the county closes the gap between costs and revenue income, the better.

“We want MIDA to be an asset, not a liability to the county. So, they’ve got to pay their own way.”

The county budget includes money for nine new full-time employees in departments including the Sheriff’s and County Attorney’s offices and human resources. The budget also includes raises for existing county employees.

The council resolved to take the budget up again after the Truth in Taxation hearing in a special meeting on December 14.

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