Service Area 3, the entity that administers road maintenance, snow removal, culinary and secondary water and other services to the community of Silver Creek Estates, will be filling three vacancies on its Board of Trustees this election.
The Upper District of Silver Creek, which has one vacancy, includes Brad Iverson, an incumbent, running against write-in candidate Michael Montgomery. The Lower District has two vacancies and includes Betty Bauwens, an incumbent, Eileen Galoostian, Len Bowes and write-in candidate Marcelo Occon.
The Park Record spoke with all candidates, except for Brad Iverson and Betty Bauwens, who did not respond to requests for interviews. Much of the focus centered on roads, trails and the water and sewer systems of the community.
The common idea that all candidates endorsed was trail connectivity in Silver Creek and integrated current trails into the Snyderville Basin and Park City.
"It's imperative - especially after certain instances that have occurred - that we have an integrated trail system," Montgomery said.
Galoostian said trail connectivity is important so that Silver Creek does not become "an isolated community," but added the Board should not give up all of their trails to another organization to manage.
Both Bowes and Occon said that Lewis Park should not be integrated into other trail systems, but all candidates were pleased with the East-West connector trail, a work in progress that connects the Rail Trail to Flying Dog.
Road safety and maintenance
Bowes stressed the need for soft-surface trails alongside Silver Creek Road, the site of horseback rider Lacey Picard's accident in 2011. Picard was riding on the side of the road when she and her horse were struck by a teenage driver. Galoostian emphasized that paving roads with no safe non-motorized way of travel was a priority of hers back in 2010 and Montgomery said every "densely populated road" that is paved needs a soft-surface trail alongside it for pedestrians and non-motorized traffic.
Occon said the community needs to find a solution that is more widely supported, saying, "I don't think trails should be dividing the community as much as they are now. We need the direct involvement of property owners, having the whole community coming together to make a good plan."
"Water is a more and more polarizing issue within our community," Montgomery said. "How we address the need for water, the way we're billing for water and the way we're calculating our water fees will need constant review."
Bowes said his interest in joining the Board peaked when he had an issue with the way water fees were imposed and calculated. He said it took a year of his family's and the Board's time to overturn the Water Advisory Committee's recommendation on the matter and wants to prevent this occurring to other residents in the future.
Occon serves on the Water Advisory Committee. He said he decided to serve because the committee was not "straight with their answers" after he incurred a $7,500 water bill from a pipe that had broken in his yard. He added that a lot of wells in the community are drying up and he wants to spread water conservation practices in the neighborhood.
Galoostian said the new Woodside subdivision will connect to Mountain Regional Water, but added that the current and past Board members have not looked into good water source alternatives for the community.
Bowes expressed concern about whether the Woodside subdivision will get a sewer line and, if so, whether the rest of the community would be required to be on that line.
Montgomery addressed the need for a fire evacuation plan, stating how close the Rockport fire came to Silver Creek. He said the community shouldn't rely as much on locked gates, which Bowes echoed, who said Silver Creek needs more entrance and exit points and fewer locked gates so emergency personnel can get in and residents can get out.
Galoostian said the Board needs to work on accountability between the Board and residents and added the community needs to network with others in the larger community to make Silver Creek "a resource."
Occon mentioned Service Area 3 should tap into Summit County's "reservoir of knowledge" in running the community more efficiently, and said they could also use more support from the county in the process of road maintenance.
Ballots for the Service Area 3 Board of Trustees election were mailed out to all registered voters in Silver Creek Estates on Oct. 5. Any residents who have not received a ballot should contact Kathy Handsaker at (435) 649-4286 to receive one. Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 4. Service Area 3 will also set up a location to drop off ballots on Election Day - the Service Area 3 Well House, 956 Echo Lane.