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After report on Extell donations, Wasatch County manager says relationship with MIDA is “very above-the-board”

Despite recent news about developers’ money going to board members, the Wasatch County government approves of MIDA’s role in the county.

The Military Installation Development Authority is facing scrutiny over developers’ donations to board members.

News last week revealed state legislators involved in approving MIDA’s Mayflower ski resort project accepted over $100,000 in donations from Extell, the resort developer. Two of those lawmakers, Utah Senate President Stuart Adams and Sen. Jerry Stevenson, sit on the MIDA board of directors.

No allegations have been made that the donations were illegal.

Wasatch County manager Dustin Grabau said though he can’t speak to details of that news report, he’s comfortable with the county’s relationship with the military organization.

“We have had very above-the-board, public conversations with them and with our legislators, and I don’t think we have a whole lot of concerns about our relationship with MIDA right now,” he said.

Grabau said the county stands to benefit from a share of the tax revenue as MIDA’s projects move forward.

“We’re overall, I think, pretty excited about what it is,” he said. “Even in this year’s budget, we’re seeing an impact to Wasatch County, and I think we’re planning on it being a really significant one in future years as well.”

The county budgeted for a $200,000 increase this year in tax revenue from MIDA.

While the county’s initial incentive to collaborate with MIDA was for economic development, Grabau said the county council is also excited about the benefits to veterans and members of the military. Recreation sites across MIDA’s area will offer military discounts.

In addition to the Deer Valley ski resort expansion, which will add more than 3,700 acres of new terrain, MIDA is constructing public hiking and biking trails, golf greens and equestrian facilities.

“It’s just incredibly exciting to open up so much more recreational opportunity, both to our military and the public,” military operations director Kristin Kenney Williams said.

Wasatch County isn’t the only place MIDA is present: late last month, the organization decided to move forward with financing a new lodge at Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah County. The new project will move forward this spring.

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