May 3, 2024 – County revenue and budget discussion, updates in behavioral health services, and Summit County events

Welcome to the first week of May and the latest county news here on Summit in Six! Today, we’re covering a County revenue and budget discussion, updates in the county’s behavioral health services, and information about the Noxious Weeds Tour and other events taking place this month. Let’s get into the news!

County Council revenue discussion

In this week’s Council meeting, Summit County Finance Officer Matt Leavitt gave a presentation on potential revenue and funding for county programs, which included a discussion about the Truth In Taxation process and the Rural Hospital Sales Tax.

For some background, Summit County Council went through the Truth in Taxation process last year in 2023 and ultimately decided to only increase the Assessing and Collecting fund, and to not increase the General Fund or the Municipal fund. This left the county with a $5.25 million ongoing shortfall in operating funds.

As the county grows, things like a Local Housing Authority, Landfill expansion, long-term planning for county properties, emergency medical services, mental health programming, and senior citizen services all require additional funding. 

Matt listed three potential options for Council to consider to meet these rising costs of service. The first is a “null” option which reduces the budget in other areas to fund these additions. The second is a property tax increase through the Truth In Taxation process for the General Fund and/or the Municipal Fund. The third is to increase sales tax revenue as allowed under the new Rural Hospital Sales Tax.

The Rural Hospital Sales Tax would allow Summit County to increase sales tax on certain items by up to 1%. This is intended to mitigate the impact of visitors to the County by using these funds to support EMS, solid waste disposal, Search & Rescue, law enforcement, fire protection, and avalanche forecasting, for example. 

It is estimated that visitors and tourists to Summit County result in an approximately $11.8 million dollar impact on these services. A potential sales tax increase of less than .4% could cover those costs. However, it should be noted that a sales tax increase must be approved by Summit County voters.

Moving forward, County Council expressed an interest in communicating with county residents to understand if voters prefer a sales tax or property tax increase to fund these needs. Matt and County Manager Shayne Scott were tasked to provide additional information on all funding options before any decisions are made.

The future of mental health services in Summit County

In September of 2019, Summit County signed a contract with Healthy U Behavioral to provide mental health and substance abuse services in the county. These services are set to expire on June 30th, 2024 and unfortunately, due to issues related to the cost of providing care in Summit County, a long-term extension agreement was not made.

As a result, Council approved a maximum six month extension to provide time to develop a plan to ensure ongoing care for current clients. For the months of July, August, and September, the county will pay $50,000 for ongoing services from Healthy U Behavioral. That amount increases to $75,000 if the extension continues into October, November, and December.

As a long-term solution, Behavioral Health Director Aaron Newman asked County Council for their support to develop a plan to operate a behavioral health clinic within the behavioral health division of the Summit County Health Department. 

Council unanimously supported this move and asked Aaron to return in a future meeting to present a transition plan for bringing these services in-house. The Summit County Health Department is committed to making this transition in an effective and sustainable manner with no disruptions to service for current clients.

Weeds Tour

The Summit County’s Weeds Division is hosting a Community Noxious Weeds Tour on Saturday, May 18 from 9 AM to 12 PM to educate residents on the “most-wanted” weeds here in Summit County. 

Residents will meet Dave Bingham, Weed Superintendent, Dan Pena, Weed Enforcement Officer, and representatives from Summit CWMA, Basin Recreation, Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter, Mountain Trails Foundation, and Park City Municipal, at Richardson Flat Park and Ride (located at 3345 E Richardson Flat Rd in Park City) to learn to identify and control noxious weeds on their own properties.

Please RSVP (for free!) at to let us know you’re coming. Gloves are suggested, but not required.

Event Roundup

Before we go, here’s a roundup of all the exciting Summit County events happening in May:

    • The Third Annual Trails, Trash & Tunes on Saturday, May 11th from 12pm – 4pm at the Wanship Trailhead (1975 Hoytsville Rd).
    • Summit Bike Share opens for the 2024 season on Tuesday, May 14
    • The Summit County Health Department Climate Change & Public Health Speaker Series
      • Tuesday, May 14: 5:30 – 7:00pm @ Kamas Services Building
      • Monday, May 20: 5:30pm – 7:00pm @ Swaner Preserve + Eco Center
    • The Cedar Crest Village Overlay Public Hearing  
      • On Thursday, May 16 | 6 PM | Ledges Event Center