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County Watch

Compiled by Patrick Parkinson

The Summit County Commission joined government officials from around the state last week in blasting legislation opponents say would turn "zoning and land use on its ear" in Utah.

"How do they propose to do planning if they’re going to take that away from the local planning commission?" County Commissioner Ken Woolstenhulme asked.

According to Summit County Commissioner Bob Richer, "none of the main organizations are going to endorse it."

Senate Bill 170, sponsored by state Sen. Al Mansell, a Republican from Salt Lake County, is pro-development legislation that opponents fear would loosen government regulations on zoning.

"Al bleeds realtor blue," said Richer, who is also a realtor and used to work with Mansell.

According to Rep. David Ure, R-Kamas, "just wait, it’s a long ways from seeing the other end of the tunnel."

"There’s going to be some real hard negotiating," Ure said.

He expects lawmakers to amend SB 170 several times before they vote on the bill. Many Park City officials also oppose the legislation.

Landowners appeal oil-drilling site in Uinta Mountains

A public hearing is scheduled before the Summit County Commission on Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. to take input on plans for construction of an oil-drilling staging area in the Uinta Mountains. The hearing is scheduled at the Summit County Courthouse in Coalville.

Though the U.S. Forest Service has cleared the way for Double Eagle Petroleum Company to drill a new oil well near the Tabletop area of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, property owners in the nearby Wilderness Acres subdivision are fighting construction of a drilling staging area in their neighborhood.

The petroleum company leased five acres near the Mirror Lake Highway to store equipment, Summit County planners say.

With a unanimous decision, the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission recently approved a conditional use permit for the project. But landowners on the edge of the National Forest appealed the decision.

"[We] don’t want to hear or see drilling equipment coming and going," writes Arizona residents Gary and Sherrill Spendlove in a Nov. 16 e-mail to the Summit County Community Development Department.

Recreational vehicle users and mostly second-homeowners vacation in the area throughout the summer. Summit County planner Denise Hytonen expects the temporary staging area to generate about two traffic trips per day between May 1 and Sept. 1.

RAP Tax applications available

The Recreation, Arts and Parks (RAP) Tax Recreation Advisory Committee has released applications for 2006 grants. The seven-member board is responsible for recommending to the Summit County Commission how 45 percent of the county’s annual RAP Tax revenue should be spent.

Grant applications must be submitted to the county by Feb. 15. The forms are available at the Summit County libraries at the Sheldon Richins Building in Snyderville and County Services Building in Kamas, and the Summit County Courthouse in Coalville. The documents include the eligibility requirements and an explanation of the application process. Applications are also available at http://www.summitcounty.org.

According to Snyderville Basin resident Tim Douglas, RAP Tax monies were used to leverage roughly $2.2 million worth of bonds to improve recreation facilities in Summit County. RAP Tax revenue is generated by 1/10 of one percent of sales tax collected in the area. Fifty-five percent of the proceeds fund non-profit cultural organizations in the county. Applications for cultural grants are due in the fall.

Edmunds is Children’s Justice Center chair

Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds has been named to chair the Wasatch and Summit Counties Children’s Justice Center executive board.

"Their entire mission is to protect children and see that people who perpetrate against children are brought to justice," Edmunds said.

Instead of interviewing victims at the police stations, the Children’s Justice Center in Wasatch County provides investigators along the Wasatch Back a more comfortable environment for speaking with children.

"Too many Summit County residents probably don’t even know the CJC exists," Edmunds said.

Other members of the center’s executive board include Wasatch County Sheriff Ken Van Wagoner, Summit County Attorney David Brickey, Wasatch County Attorney Thomas Low and a representative from the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

Coalville City pays employees for time away

The Coalville City Council will continue to pay Public Works employees Brandt Judd and Sam Adams when they leave their posts to fight fires for the North Summit Fire District. But Judd and Adams are not compensated by the city when they respond to medical calls for the fire department.

"Coalville City is paying for a lot of the fire calls regardless of what area of North Summit it’s in," Coalville Mayor Duane Schmidt said. "When they respond to a fire call they continuously get paid through the city."

"There was never a conversation about cutting these guys off, it was more a clarification of what our policy is," the mayor added.

Not paying the volunteer firefighters when they respond to blazes for the North Summit Fire District would put the fire department in a bind, Schmidt said.

"These guys are responding up in Wanship and Hoytsville and Henefer & during the day," he added.

Judd and Adams were also asked to provide the city a schedule of when they are on call as firefighters so Public Works can plan accordingly.

"They’ve got obligations to the city also," Schmidt said.


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