October 7, 2022 – Rail Trail Corridor, Emergency Medical Services & a proposed Basin Recreation Tax Increase

Today, we:

  • Cover a few items that were discussed at this week’s council meeting, including some updates on the ongoing Emergency Medical Services discussion and the council’s support of a community-wide sustainable tourism plan
  • Share some amazing opportunities for community engagement—There’s a new program called “The Community Planning Lab” for County residents to enroll in and also some Open Houses are on the calendar for “phase two” of public input on the Rail Trail Corridor Project.

Community Planning Lab

Let’s kick it off with some info about The Community Planning Lab…a course designed for Summit County residents, community leaders, business owners, and other community stakeholders who want to be more engaged in and better understand processes that drive local planning and land use policy decisions.

This is a 10-week course from mid-January to April. The course will have a hybrid format to meet in person or via Google Classroom. Planning Lab activities will include presentations from experts in the planning and land use policy fields, field trips, and project work.

Participants will come away with an understanding of how planning helps shape our cities and towns and how engagement and participation in local affairs develop the community.

Would you be interested in joining a Community Planning Lab hosted by the County’s Community Development Department? Let us know by filling out our brief survey at bit.ly/scplanninglab or simply visit summitcounty.org/engage for more details on the lab and a link to the survey.

Rail Trail Corridor – Public Engagement Round 2

The next round of opportunities for community engagement for The Rail Trail Corridor project is upon us! As a recap: the Rail Trail Corridor is a 30-mile arts, culture, recreation, and tourism corridor being designed to cultivate a strong sense of community and offer opportunities for both resource protection and economic revitalization along the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail.

Here are some ways to get involved for this second round of feedback and input which will run through January 2023 and offer the Community Development Department more specific information from the community, ensuring that the plan for the Rail Trail Corridor accurately represents your goals.

  • An Open House will take place Thursday, November 3 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the Basin Recreation Offices across from Trailside Elementary School
  • A second Open House will take place Monday, November 7 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the Ledges Event Center in Coalville.

*The SAME information will be presented at both Open Houses. The planning department is providing two options to ensure access to the maximum number of people. Lastly, if you’re interested in participating in a focus group for this project, you can fill out a short survey at summitcounty.org/engage.

County Council Recap: 

EMS Conversation 

Since 2020, the County has been engaged with mayors and fire districts throughout Summit County in a conversation about Emergency Medical Services and where we want to go with this service in the future. At this week’s council meeting, all three fire district chiefs came to the table to discuss this topic.  

Here are a few key takeaways from Wednesday’s discussion: 

First off: the county is moving forward with a study conducted by a third-party consultant called “SafeTech Solutions”. Their research will help the county make data-based decisions about EMS operations, system structure and governance, and budget. The study will involve an extensive stakeholder interview process and public engagement, as well as an in-depth financial analysis to better understand the community’s expectations for level of service and what they are willing to pay for while also taking into account the County’s population, demographics, geography, and best practices. The study is on track to finish in May of 2023 when the consultant will present short-, mid-and long-term recommendations to the County Council.

We encourage the public to attend and provide input on this topic at various open houses at the end of October. A public meeting will be held in each area of the county – North Summit (Coalville), South Summit (Kamas), and PC/Snyderville Basin (Quinn’s Junction). Stay tuned here on the podcast, on social media and on our website for more information about dates, times and locations.  

The bottom line is no decisions about changing EMS service or operations were made at Wednesday’s Council meeting. Park City Fire District will continue to operate EMS countywide, responding to calls in North Summit and South Summit, as well as in the Park City area as they have been for the last decade.  

Sustainable Tourism Plan

Council also heard from Jennifer Wesselhoff, President and CEO of the Park City Chamber of Commerce, and ultimately approved a proclamation that demonstrates Summit County’s commitment to being stewards of the Sustainable Tourism Plan.

Several members of the Summit County leadership team and staff participated in the Stewardship Council and other parts of the process that shaped the Sustainable Tourism Plan, including Council Member Roger Armstrong, Former County Manager Tom Fisher, Economic Development & Housing Director Jeff Jones, Basin Rec Director Dana Jones, Community Development Director Pat Putt, and Sustainability Manager Emily Quinton.

The objectives of this plan are to:

1. Cultivate local pride and respect for the Park City / Summit County experience.
2. Implement sustainable transportation, housing, water, energy, and waste management policies and initiatives.
3. Protect and manage our natural environment to enable sustainable outdoor recreation.
4. Ensure the long-term resilience of the Park City / Summit County economy.
5. Equalize the economic benefits and mitigate impacts of the visitor economy.
6. Leverage messaging and programming to accelerate sustainable tourism.
7. Foster the development and management of Summit County’s art and culture tourism assets.

You can learn more about the plan at: www.visitparkcity.com/sustainabletourismplan

Senior Citizens Services Department – Changes to code

The Senior Citizen services department made some amendments to their code all of which were passed at this week’s council meeting. The most notable was that the age requirement for participation in the senior centers changed from 55 years old to 60 years old.

We do want to point out that if you are under 60 and have a spouse or partner who meets the age requirement, you can still participate!

Basin Recreation – Tax Increase

And a final, quick update—Council approved Basin Recreation’s plans to increase 2023 taxes by nearly 20%. According to Basin Recreation Director Dana Jones, the purpose of the increase is to fund additional positions, keep up with the rising costs of goods and services, and maintain assets such as equipment, and prepare for future capital replacement needs.

To clarify, the action take this week does NOT mean the increase has been adopted. On December 14, 2022: The District will hold a public hearing at 6:00 pm, as part of the Summit County Council meeting on the proposed property tax increase. A second public hearing will be held afterward on the District’s proposed 2023 budgets. Following each public hearing, the County Council can adopt resolutions accepting the property tax increase and the 2023 budgets.

You can stay tuned for all opportunities for public engagement on this topic at summitcounty.org/engage.