October 14, 2022 – NS Recreation Beacon Hill Park update, 2023 Manager’s Budget & EMS Community Input

Today, we’ll…

  • Cover some items from this week’s council meeting, including a proposed study on the Echo Divide Wind Park and Community Reinvestment Area, as well as give an update on the North Summit Special Service Recreation District Project.
  • Preview the upcoming community input sessions for the future of EMS in the county.
  • Share some amazing opportunities for community engagement with the Community Development Department and recap a wildfire fuels treatment project that will take place this fall along I-80.

Proposed Echo Divide Community Reinvestment Project Area

Let’s dive into our council recap by taking a step back to 2019 when the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit to review a project called the Echo Divide Wind Park. The proposed project is located along the Utah-Wyoming border southeast of I-80 in eastern Summit County, approximately 7 miles southwest of Evanston, Wyoming.

According to Echo Divide Wind LLC the project will use approximately 39 turbines to generate up to 100 MegaWatts of electricity, which is capable of powering the equivalent of approximately 21,730 Summit County homes per year. Towards that end, Echo Divide Wind LLC has approached the Summit County Community Development and Renewal Agency to consider the establishment of a community reinvestment project area plan and budget in support of the Echo Divide Wind Farm Project.

The Board of the Summit County Community Development and Renewal Agency adopted a resolution directing staff to begin that process. Doing so represents the first step towards establishing a Community Reinvestment Area and associated tax increment area. The establishment of a new Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) and associated Tax Increment Area (TIF) could potentially benefit the County and other taxing entities.

North Summit Recreation Special Service District

The North Summit Recreation Special Service District came before council to discuss some issues they’ve run into during the process of building out their Beacon Hill Park project. As a recap: in 2018, Coalville City transferred land to The District via a special warranty deed under the restriction that the property would be used for a public park, for recreational purposes, and for meetings and events consistent with any public park

Then in 2021, The County and The District applied together and received a Summit County Recreation Arts and Parks Grant for One Million One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,100,000.00) to be used for this project.

Fast forward to this summer of 2022– The District discovered they are unable to proceed with development because the parcel they were given is currently included in a pre-recorded plat for the Indian Hills Subdivision Plat 3. A North Summit family owns the neighboring lots within the Indian Hills Subdivision Plat 3 to the east of The District’s platted lots and would be impacted by any subdivision amendment like the one North Summit Rec. is seeking.

The District’s progress is halted until they receive an amendment on the plat and can vacate a portion of Settler’s Drive. So Council gave their support to the special service district to take the next step forward and file paperwork with Coalville City concerning the subdivision amendment and road vacation they seek.

That application will go through the city’s public process, so there will be plenty of time and opportunities for public engagement and feedback on this project as it moves forward in the review process.

2023 Budget

Interim County Manager Janna Young presented her 2023 Budget Recommendations to Council with Finance Director Matt Leavitt this week. Janna indicated a 10% Cost of Living Increase or “COLA” for County employees as a high item on her budget agenda for this year. She said this COLA would assist Summit County in being competitive with surrounding jurisdictions, increase the employee retention rate, and keep up with the increased cost of living and inflation in the area.

Here’s a surface-level look at the 2023 Manager’s Budget Recommendation:

  • It reflects a $71.7 million dollar operating budget (which is around an 8% increase from the 2022 budget)
  • $11.6 million dollars of that operating budget will be coming from fund balances
  • There are 9 new positions being recommended, but 3 full-time positions are grant funded and 1 full-time position is fee funded.

These positions include:

  • A permit technician in the planning and zoning department
  • An entry-level engineer
  • A GIS specialist in IT
  • A landscape technician in the Facilities Department
  • An Economic Development and Housing Specialist
  • A floater position that can assist multiple departments with excess workflow
  • An emergency preparedness position from the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) 
  • A Communications Coordinator position
  • A Public Lands Coordinator

The 2023 Budget Process will continue into next week’s Council meeting once Council members have had the time to review the manager’s recommendations in full. So be sure to tune in next week for an update on this topic.

Summit County EMS Planning community input

In August, Summit County began a master planning process for Emergency Medical Services across the county. The process is being facilitated by SafeTech Solutions, LLP, an independent national EMS consulting firm with broad experience in strategic planning, EMS assessment, and rural EMS. 

The goals of the Summit County EMS master planning process are to ensure reliable, efficient, and high-quality emergency medical services for all residents and visitors, and to effectively plan for the future of EMS in Summit County.

As part of the effort to study, understand, and improves EMS, the county is hosting three town hall-style meetings to gather concerns, perspectives, and ideas of all those interested in the future of EMS in Summit County.

If you have questions or comments about the future of EMS, please plan to attend one of the following in-person meetings:

  • October 20 – South Summit County Services Building (Library) Auditorium, Kamas | 6-8 p.m.
  • October 27 – Ledges Event Center Multipurpose Room, Coalville | 6-8 p.m.
  • October 28 – Summit County Health Department Downstairs Conference Room at Quinn’s Junction/Round Valley, Park City | 6-8 p.m.

Rail Trail Corridor – Public Engagement Round 2

Shifting gears to a few opportunities to get involved with the Community Development Department:

First up is the Rail Trail Corridor Project. It 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.

Do you want to lend feedback about this project?

  • Visit summitcounty.org/engage to fill out a survey or to join a focus group.
  • You can also give feedback in person at two Open Houses. The first will take place Thursday, November 3 from 5:00 pm – 7:00pm at the Basin Recreation Offices across from Trailside Elementary School, the second Open House will take place Monday, November 7 from 5:00 pm – 7:00pm 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.

The Community Development Department is also seeking residents to join their Community Planning Lab–it’s 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. Visit summitcounty.org/engage to let us know you’re interested in enrolling.

Parley’s Canyon Oak Brush Project:

Head’s up to those traveling I-80 Eastbound in the coming weeks….Work is set to begin on the Parleys Canyon Oak Brush Mastication Project on Oct. 20. You’ll see machines like this grinding down the Oak Brush along a section of I-80 near the Lamb’s Canyon exit throughout the fall. This will NOT affect road traffic, but the project is so visual that we wanted to give everyone advance notice and knowledge around the project.

You may be wondering: “Why bring in a big machine to tear up Gamble Oak?”

Well, while it may not be the prettiest sight, this process will open up the landscape to thrive. Diverse native plants will finally grow again after being overshadowed by Gamble Oak for years. Another benefit of this project is that it provides wildfire fuels mitigation for the area near where the Parleys Canyon Fire took place in 2021.

Shoutout to all the partners involved in this project: Utah Forestry, Fire & State Lands, Utah Department of Natural Resources, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Salt Lake City Public Utilities and the U.S. Forest Service.

Stay tuned: We will be sharing updates about this project over the coming weeks.