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Wasatch County

Wasatch County Council to vote on sales tax for public transit Wednesday

Wasatch County
Wasatch County displayed this on a poster at its transit open house last week. It explains the options the county's considering to fund public transit with varying levels of service.

The Wasatch County Council will hold a public hearing and is scheduled to vote on a new sales tax for public transit Wednesday. It will also hear the latest on the highway bypass project in Heber.

The Wasatch County Council has been working on expanding High Valley Transit into the Heber Valley and Jordanelle area. In its regular meeting Wednesday, the council could vote on whether to fund that service through a new tax. The public will have a chance to weigh in during a public hearing before any vote.

A countywide transit sales tax would cost shoppers an extra 0.25%, or one penny for every $4 spent. Groceries and gas would be exempt. The tax could generate $2.5 million to be spent on public transit or roads.

High Valley Transit, which runs free buses and on-demand microtransit shuttles in Summit County, proposed a bus route from Park City to Heber City in April. In an open house last week, the county presented options for transportation services it’s considering, including microtransit shuttles as well as the bus route.

The sales tax is one of five sales taxes the council is considering. Two of those options require voter approval.

Also during the meeting, County Manager Dustin Grabau will give an update on the Heber Valley highway study. He’ll focus on five designs for a western bypass the Utah Department of Transportation released last week.

The state expects to continue studying that project for at least another year, and some involved have said construction won’t begin for another 10 years. But the findings released last week narrowed down options from dozens of proposals to a short list of possibilities.

The council meets at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the Wasatch County Administration Building at 25 North Main Street in Heber City. The transit sales tax public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m.

To participate in the meeting via Zoom, visit wasatch.utah.gov.

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