Category Archives: Podcasts

May 20, 2022 – Wasatch Back Economic Summit, Council of Governments, 2022 Summit County Rodeo Royalty & more



In this week’s episode we’ll…

  • Recap some big events that happened this past week including the Wasatch Back Economic Summit, a Council of Governments meeting, and the Trails, Tunes, and Trash Event! 
  • Celebrate High Valley Transit Micro’s one year anniversary, congratulate the 2022 Summit County Rodeo Royalty, and talk about Wildfire Awareness Month. 

Wasatch Back Economic Summit 

There was no County Council meeting this week, but on Tuesday (May 17) several members of the Council along with Summit County staff attended the Wasatch Back Economic Summit. The Summit, which Summit County helped sponsor, was a unique regional event that brought together elected officials, industry leaders, and businesses to study and discuss key issues facing Summit and Wasatch counties.

Council chairman, Chris Robinson, spoke on an Elected Officials Panel in the morning, alongside Nann Worel, Park City Mayor, Matt McCormick, Kamas City Mayor, and Mark Nelson, Wasatch County Council. He shared his perspective on regional challenges, opportunities, and unique areas for improvement. 

Jeff Jones, Summit County Economic Development Director; Pat Putt, Summit County Community Development Director; and Caroline Rodriguez, High Valley Transit’s Executive Director, also spoke at the event. 

Pat presented on future growth in the Wasatch Back. With the Wasatch Back being one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, he spoke about how the County plans to manage the growth and maintain our authentic community. He also spoke of development projects that are in the works in Summit County, including the 1,100 bed project at Canyons Village, the Highland Flats employee housing development, the MarketPlace mixed-use development, and the construction of the new High Valley Transit operations facility on the Gilmor parcel. 

Jeff spoke on a panel called “The Future of Employee Retention and Recruitment” he talked about how the pandemic has reset major work trends and how Summit County is rethinking workforce and employee planning, management, performance, and experience strategies. 

And, finally, Caroline spoke about regional transit solutions in the works to better connect Wasatch and Summit County communities. She addressed the challenges, opportunities, plans, and partnerships for future accessibility in the Wasatch Back.

Council of Governments 

Also on Tuesday, the Council of Governments, or COG, met at the Ledges Event Center in Coalville. Derrick Radke, the County’s Public Works Director, was in front of the group to present Road Right-of-Way Preservation Project Funding applications to the COG. 

Only one new application was submitted; it asked the COG to move previously approved monies to preserve land for a future Interchange at Ecker to the project fund for the Silver Creek to Bitner Connector Road. The Council of Governments forwarded a positive recommendation to the Council for the project. If the County Council approves the recommendation, these monies will help secure the final right of way needed for this project, and help pay for the associated land needed for wetland mitigation. 

Derrick also presented Transportation Sales Tax (TST) Project Funding applications. A portion of the TST funds go to the Small Cities to help them with some of their transportation improvement projects. The amount of requested funding exceeded the amount currently allowed under the program. The County Council will have to decide whether or not to approve the entire amount. 

In addition, the COG recommended new funding for the first and second phases of the SR-32 Multiuse Trail, and design monies for two projects applied for by Park City. They also approved reallocation of previously awarded projects related to multimodal/Transportation Demand Management which have become unworkable/unfeasible to be applied to the new High Valley Transit Operations and Maintenance Facility.

Micro One Year Anniversary 

High Valley Transit celebrated the first anniversary of their Microtransit services. In celebration, they shared some impressive stats that illustrated a very successful first year in service. 

Micro completed 152,266 rides; their vans traveled 677,802 miles; their drivers worked 42,900.7 hours; 20,881 High Valley Transit mobile app accounts were created; by the end of the year the service achieved a 4.8/5 star average ride rating. 

Congratulations to them! 

Rodeo Queens Announcement 

Speaking of congratulations…this past weekend, the 2022 Summit County Rodeo Royalty were crowned!

Huge congratulations to:

  • Queen Cheyenne Gawreluk
  • 1st Attendant Jenasi Noss
  • 2nd Attendant Brooke Steinfeldt
  • Princess Quincee Call
  • 1st Attendant Brooklyn Brown
  • 2nd Attendant Nina Hurst

We were in attendance at the event and want to recognize every girl that participated, they did such an amazing job showcasing their talents!

Trails, Trash and Tunes Event 

On Saturday, May 14, families, friends, and Summit County colleagues met up at the Wanship Trailhead for a belated celebration of our trails and the Earth (earth day every day, though right?!).

Nearly 50 people attended the “Trails, Trash and Tunes” event that was hosted by the Summit County Stormwater Coalition and the Summit County Community Development Department.

Kids read books and did arts and crafts supplied by the Library, adults enjoyed beer from Offset Bier, a new Park City brewery, and everyone tapped their toes to music by Summit County resident Andy Bailey.

Huge thanks to Blue Sky, Mountain Town Music, Offset Beer and Mr. Clucker’s Food Truck for contributing to this event’s success!

Wildfire Awareness Month  

And, last but certainly not least, we wanted to remind our listeners that May is Wildfire Awareness Month. Here in Summit County we live with wildfire all year round, so it’s important to stay alert.

Our Department uses several channels to communicate information to the public in both emergency and non-emergency situations (including wildfires). 

We want to take a couple minutes to give an overview of those channels in the hopes that as many people as possible start to utilize them!

  1. EVERBRIDGE: Receive critical information in a variety of emergency situations wherever you specify (i.e. home, mobile or business phones, email address, or text). Sign up at summitcountyalerts.org.
  2. SUMMITALERTA: The bilingual arm of the County’s emergency communications plan, individuals can text summitalerta to 888777 to receive emergency alerts to their phone in Spanish.
  3. SCFIREINFO: A wildfire specific line, residents can text SCFIREINFO to 888777 to receive text alerts on fire conditions (i.e. red flag warnings), prescribed burns, and active fire updates.
  4. NOTIFY ME: Be notified when non-emergency announcements are made from Summit County, via email or text. Things like service delays for trash and recycling or a notification when the Eastern Summit Couny Planning Commission posts an agenda for an upcoming meeting. There are so many different options and you can customize your alerts to what you’re interested in. Sign up at summitcounty.org/notifyme. 

May 13, 2022 – Short term rentals, EMS updates & upcoming events



In this week’s episode:

  • A potential increase in the regulation of short term rentals in Summit County

  • The continued conversation about Emergency Medical Services throughout the county

  • And general updates on countywide events taking place in the coming weeks

SHORT TERM RENTALS  

Let’s kick things off with a hot topic among resort communities like ours—short-term rentals. Did you know that Summit County has the highest percentage of short-term rentals in the State of Utah? A full 21.5 percent of housing in the County consists of short-term rentals.  

Even though these types of rentals are so prominent throughout the state and especially here in Summit, both state and local regulation of short-term rentals is really limited.  

At Wednesday’s Council meeting there was a discussion as to whether the Council wishes to enhance short-term rental regulations in the County by amending both the Snyderville Basin and Eastern Summit County Development Codes.  

Several issues with short-term rentals were discussed including street parking issues and rental cars being unfit to access certain neighborhoods in winter conditions. There was also talk of safety issues with these rentals. There is a lack of safety regulations around the rentals themselves, but also visitors are not as aware of local dangers, and can unknowingly engage in activities that could, for instance, cause a wildfire. 

Staff also spoke about the positive results that would come from enacting regulations that help mitigate the issues involved with short-term rentals. There is less housing available for full-time or longer-term residents, our workforce, etc. Short term rentals reduce housing inventory, making inventory more scarce, and driving up the overall cost of housing. Nightly rentals are competing with the lodging industry which pays much more in taxes than a property owner holding a business license does. They suggested these types of strategies would help increase housing stock and allow the workforce to live here.  

Ultimately, Council asked the Attorney’s Office to prepare a draft ordinance for review that would suspend the issuance of any new business licenses for the purpose of short term rentals for the next 6 months until they can establish what set of regulations they want to pursue. 

Some sets of regulations they may choose to explore will require public hearings, so stay tuned in the coming months for opportunities to provide your input to the Council on this issue. We’ll keep you updated through this podcast, on SummitCounty.org, and on Summit County’s social media channels when these opportunities are coming.  

PCFD EMS

Up next, the Council convened as Park City Fire District to discuss their Emergency Medical Services proposal and the future of EMS licensure in Summit County.  

Chief Zanetti of Park City Fire, spoke about the cost to run his district, as well as the effects providing EMS services to Eastern Summit County has on their budget.  

It was agreed that the fire service districts need to be amended and that we need to establish an understanding of the full cost of providing EMS in different areas of the County. The big question is: “What does it cost to provide these services in North Summit, in South Summit and in Park City?”

There is currently an RFP out to hire an outside consultant who will help with this by conducting a master planning process to decide how the County should provide EMS moving forward.  

In terms of what’s next, the Council emphasized that they want to have significant communication with the community about this process to understand what they want to be done and their needs. They called for the next meeting regarding this issue to be scheduled within the next 45 days. Council requested that the baseline EMS report from 2020 be updated and presented publicly again to understand the basics of current EMS service provision in Summit County. So, stay tuned for more in the near future. 

MOUNTAINLANDS  

On a similar topic of emergencies….let’s switch to emergency preparedness and response. At Wednesday’s council meeting, Kathryn McMullin, Summit County’s Emergency Manager, and Shauna Mechem, with Mountainland Association of Governments, presented the 2022 Mountainlands Association of Governments Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan. The plan identifies mitigation goals and actions to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property in Summit County from the impacts of future hazards and disasters.  

Basically, they took a look at natural disasters and their potential impacts (think: wildfires and earthquakes). Then, they made mitigation plans for ALL of these emergencies should they happen.  

These plans were approved by Council.

DAKOTA PACIFIC DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT  

We also have a brief update on the Dakota Pacific Development Agreement. Community Development Director, Pat Putt, and County Manager, Tom Fisher, shared that they have had an initial meeting to hear some of Dakota Pacific’s ideas of what their amended proposal will include when they bring it to the Council next.  

It was estimated, at its earliest, that the new proposal could come in front of Council in July. We know this is a hot button issue in the community and we will keep you updated with more information as we receive it.  

ANNEXATION DECLARATION AREAS   

Back in March, we reported on some proposed amendments to both development codes in Summit County that deal with annexation declaration areas.  

To review: an annexation declaration area is the planned area beyond a municipalities current city boundary where they reasonably plan to have land use authority over in the future. In other words, where the city boundary will plan to expand to in the future and where city services could be provided to in the future. 

The proposed amendments included:  

  • An annual commitment to review the annexation declaration areas with the individual municipalities, and  
  • A noticing requirement for the County in the event development permits are being applied for within those 88 areas.  

Since we last spoke about the topic, the amendments were formally adopted for both the Snyderville Basin and Eastern Summit County Development Codes.  

These proposed code changes are an effort to increase and improve communications between the County and the cities. If the County receives a development application for an unincorporated area that a city has planned to annex at some point, we want them to have the opportunity to weigh in on concerns or flag issues that would impact them.  

COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS  

Heads up, Summit County! The next Council of Governments meeting is happening on Tuesday, May 17th at 6 pm. If you’re interested, you can join on Zoom or in-person at Ledges Event Center. Highlights from the upcoming agenda include:

  • A discussion regarding health equity
  • Two public works discussions related to right of way preservation project funding and transportation sales tax project applications
  • Update on regional planning

ENGINEERING OPEN HOUSES  

The Summit County Engineering Dept. is hosting TWO events this month to provide residents with the opportunity to learn about a variety of projects outlined in Summit County’s Long Range Transportation Plan which spans the next 30 years. 

At these events, residents can speak directly with County engineers and provide their ideas and feedback on future projects, specifically those taking place over the next decade. 

The first is tailored to Eastern Summit County and is happening on May 18 at the Kamas Services Building: We highly encourage residents who live on the East Side of SR-32 between 2700 N. and the NE corner of Main St. and E 300 N., to attend this meeting to learn more about the scheduled construction of the pathway this summer.  

The second Open House is happening the following day, on May 19, at the Richins Building in Kimball Jct. This meeting is for Western Summit County residents to provide input on projects such as the separation of Kimball Jct. at Ute Blvd. + Olympic Pkwy., a trail along Old Ranch Road, and MORE!


May 6, 2022 – Weber River Watershed Resilience Project, 2023 Behavioral Health Plan, Child Care Provider Appreciation Day & Mental Health Awareness Month



In this week’s episode, we’ll…

  • Recap a congressional tour of the Weber River Watershed Resilience Project that happened this week.
  • Cover the 2023 Behavioral Health Area Plan that was presented to Council on Wednesday.
  • Talk about Child Care Provider Appreciation Day and Mental Health Awareness Month
  • Remind you about two exciting events you should have on your calendars, Summit County!

Weber River Watershed Tour  

[Bridget] 

First up, Summit County’s Public Lands office, which is headed by Jessica Kirby, has been working on a cross-boundary, landscape-scale fire mitigation and watershed restoration project in the headwaters of the Weber River. The project is in partnership with the US Forest Service, local water districts, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations. 

 [Derek]

The project is garnering attention statewide and at the federal level as the partnership works to build a fund for fuel reduction treatments to make the watershed more resilient to catastrophic wildfire, preserving this critical drinking water source for residents of Summit County and those downstream. 

 [Bridget] 

On Monday, May 2, Summit County hosted staff members from the offices of Senator Mitt Romney, Representative Blake Moore, and Representative John Curtis for a tour of the watershed to get a closer look at the Weber River Watershed Resilience Project. The purpose of this outing was to showcase Summit County’s collaboration and strong partnerships around watershed restoration, forest health, and to bring attention to the need to address wildfire mitigation within the headwaters of western Summit County’s drinking water supply. 

 2023 Behavioral Health Area Plan 

[Derek] 

Now, moving into a recap of this week’s County Council meeting.  

 The meeting kicked off with a presentation of the 2023 Behavioral Health Area Plan. Every year the County Behavioral Health Team has to submit this document to the State of Utah. The document outlines the programs and services that the County is required to provide by Utah state code.  

 [Bridget] 

A new program was included in this plan called THRIVE. The program is a partnership with the Live Like Sam Foundation, the school districts, and the University of Utah. In practice, THRIVE creates small groups of elementary-aged students (10-15 person cohorts) that get together to learn, practice and apply evidence-based well being skills to help address issues of youth depression and anxiety.  

 [Derek] 

The Behavioral Health Team also reported that they’ve seen great success in breaking stigma within the Spanish-speaking population. However, this has resulted in higher demand for services received in Spanish which has caused wait times of up to six weeks. They also expect that 17% of clinicians in Summit County are expected to retire by 2025.  

 [Bridget] 

In the coming years, more attention and targeted improvements will have to be made in order to best serve the County’s Spanish speaking community and recruit new clinicians.  

 At the end of the discussion, Council approved the plan.  

 Proclamations  

 [Derek] 

Next up, a proclamation was read asking the Council to declare May 6, 2022 Child Care Provider Appreciation Day.  

 Over half the children under the age of six nationwide are estimated to spend some time in a nonparental care arrangement on a weekly basis. This care provides critical enrichment opportunities and nurtures development for children of all backgrounds. 

[Bridget] 

And, our future depends on the quality of the early childhood experiences provided to young children today. It’s important to recognize that support for high-quality child care represents a worthy commitment to our children’s future. 

[Derek]  

The proclamation was adopted by Council. We wanted to take a moment to recognize all Child Care Providers for their important work. Thank you for all you do.  

 [Bridget] 

Another proclamation was read asking the Council to declare May 2022 as Mental Health Awareness Month.  

 [Derek]  

Mental health is universal; it applies to everyone. In fact, an estimated 16,000 Summit County adults live with a mental health disorder and one out of every ten American children has a mental illness serious enough to impair how they function at home, at school, and with peers. It goes without question that the impact of mental illness reaches families, neighborhoods, schools, and the workplace.  

 [Bridget] 

This  proclamation was also adopted by Council. And, we want to take a moment to thank the many community organizations throughout the county that provide critical mental health resources for all residents. Please take care of your mental health by recognizing when you need help and seek treatment when necessary. You’re never alone!  

 Council Q+A  

 [Derek]  

Join Council members Roger Armstrong and Malena Stevens for a VIRTUAL Council Q+A on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 from 6:00-7:00 PM! 

 [Bridget] 

At the event, you’ll hear updates on the county-wide Open Space Bond, talk about the upcoming fire season, learn how to best navigate the County website and alert system, and have the opportunity to ask Roger + Malena questions about any topic important to you or that you’re curious about! 

 Trails, Trash  and Tunes

[Derek]  

And, finally, we invite you to come welcome springtime, give back to the Earth, and play on the Rail Trail with Summit County on Saturday, May 14 from 12-5 PM at the Wanship Trailhead. There will be live music provided by Mountain Town Music and sponsored by Blue Sky, a beer garden, and some kid-friendly activities as well.  

 [Bridget] 

We encourage walking or riding your bike along the Rail Trail to get to this event. If you must drive, there is limited parking available at the trailhead itself. Thanks to Summit County’s Stormwater Coalition, Community Development Department, and Facilities Department for putting on this event. We are excited to celebrate with you! 


April 29, 2022 – Utah Housing Legislature, Development Code amendments & County Fair tickets



In this week’s episode we’ll:

  • Give you an update on the I80 Hazmat Spill.  
  • Talk about what the County Community Development Department is up to, and how their program affects the 2022 Work Plan. 
  • Continue the conversation on 501c3 tax exemption revocation appeals, 
  • Summarize several county code ordinance changes, and 
  • Remind you about two exciting events you should have on your calendars, Summit County!

HAZMAT SPILL UPDATE

[Bailey]

First up, we have a brief update on the I-80 Hazmat Spill/ Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail closure.  

The roughly 100-yard section of the Rail Trail near the Tollgate overpass will remain closed through Friday (April 29th) and potentially until Monday (May 2) while excavation work takes place. 

[Derek]

Summit County Environmental Health continues to oversee the cleanup. Booms in the drainage did well to prevent spread due to the previous weekend’s precipitation. Soil samples were taken to determine the depth the substance reached. The focus for the rest of the week is on removing contaminated soils, which poses a challenge due to excavation equipment access on the Rail Trail. 

We’ll keep you updated with more information on Summit County social media channels as we receive it. 

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

[Bailey]

Shifting gears to this week’s County Council meeting, the Community Development Department, Housing Director, and Attorney’s Office were in front of Council to review the scope of work associated with House Bill 462, Utah Housing Affordability Amendments adopted this past legislative session.  

[Derek]

For some background, in their general session earlier this year, the Utah State Legislature placed new requirements on Summit County, and other counties across the state, to develop and adopt a Moderate Income Housing plan by October 1, 2022. The County is required to adopt three or more strategies from a list provided in the statute that will lead to the development of moderate income housing units within the County. The County’s plan also has to identify benchmarks that must be met to implement those strategies, demonstrating the County’s commitment to facilitating the development of moderate income housing within the County. 

[Bailey]

The consequence of not adopting a plan by October 1, 2022, or not fulfilling the requirements of the statute, is the County is made ineligible for transportation and transit funding from the state. 

It will take a significant amount of staff work to complete this plan by October 1st. As a result, the County Manager and Deputy County Manager discussed with the Council on Wednesday proposed revisions to the County’s 2022 Work Plan to free up staff capacity to work on the Moderate Income Housing Plan.

 

2022 WORK PLAN 

[Derek]

On February 2, 2022, the Summit County Council adopted the 2022 Work Plan, outlining projects prioritized by County Department and organized by Council’s strategic priorities, on which County staff would focus for the year.  

[Bailey]

Typically, the Council does not revise the Work Plan after it is adopted, unless a new issue arises. This year, like we just discussed, the Utah State Legislature adopted several bills that placed new requirements on counties.  

This compelled the County Manager’s Office to suggest revisions to the 2022 Work Plan to both add those items to the Work Plan and postpone or “shelve” others to free up staff time to work on these new items.  

[Derek]

The Council chose not to adopt the County Manager’s recommendations and instead, requested that the Council Chair and Vice Chair meet with staff to figure out where the Work Plan can be revised to complete both the Moderate Income Housing Plan and other Council priorities this year, and will present those suggestions to the full Council at a later date.

 

TAX EXEMPTION STATUS 

[Bailey]

Last week, several representatives from local community organizations were in front of Council to appeal the revocation of their tax exemption status. Their appeals were accepted by Council given this was the first year that the County did not mail reminder notifications for organizations filing their 501c(3) Non-Profit Property Tax Exemptions.

This week, several more entities’ tax exemption statuses were up for review. 

[Derek]

Council voted to extend the deadline (for this year only) to May 6. This means that any organization who received a revocation letter (dated March 30) and would like to appeal that decision, has the opportunity to stand before Council to present their case. 

If this is you, contact Stephanie Poll, County Assesor, at 435-336-3253 or spoll@summitcounty.org between now (April 27) and May 6. Any further appeals will be heard by the Council at their regular May 11 meeting. 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

[Bailey]

There were several public hearings held regarding proposed ordinances that would amend the Snyderville Basin and Eastern Summit County Development Codes.  

Ordinance 936 proposes amendments to the Snyderville Basin Development Code with the  intention to create water-wise landscaping regulations. After a lengthy discussion between Council, Staff, and several members of the public, Staff was directed to take comments back to the office and come back to the May 25th Council meeting with necessary adjustments.  

[Derek]

Ordinance 937, which amends the Snyderville Basin Development Code to require that the County Treasurer replace the County Assessor as a signer on mylars prior to recordation of a subdivision plat and final site plan, was passed. Ordinance 938, which does the same thing for the Eastern Summit County Development Code, was also passed.  

Ordinance 939 establishes an annual review/discussion of municipal Annexation Declaration Areas and a minimum 30-day notice to municipalities for development proposals within ADAs. The ordinance was passed.  

 

HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION DAY 

[Bailey]

Up next we have a final reminder that Spring Household Hazardous Waste Collection day is happening THIS Saturday, April 30th in the Canyons Cabriolet parking lot from 9 AM to 1 PM!  

Think materials like paint, oils, any products under your kitchen cabinet or in your garage that you wouldn’t want to drink. When toxic materials like these end up in the landfill they leach into the ground and into our drinking water, so the goal of this event is to keep them out of our environment.  

[Derek]

Bikes in all conditions will be accepted this year, as well as mattresses for $20 per item. You can view a full list of accepted items at recycleutah.org/events. 

Special thanks to Recycle Utah, Park City Municipal, Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District and Park City Sunrise Rotary for making this event possible!

 

FAIR TICKETS

[Bailey]

Finally, we’ll end on some very exciting news…The Summit County Fair is back! The 2022 Summit County Fair will take place from August 6 – August 13 this year. 

[Derek]

And, guess what? It’s already time to buy tickets to the PRCA Rodeo and Demolition Derby! Tickets officially go on sale on Monday, May 2 at 9 AM. 

The Demolition Derby is happening on Saturday August 6th at 7 PM. You can buy tickets at bit.ly/summitderby22 

[Bailey]

The PRCA Rodeo will take place Friday, August 12 and Saturday, August 13 at 8 PM. You can buy tickets at bit.ly/summitrodeo22

We hope to see you there!