County Watch | ParkRecord.com

County Watch

Compiled by Patrick Parkinson

Next year taxes for the Park City Fire District are slated to increase more than 12 percent.

Today at a truth-in-taxation hearing in the Snyderville Basin firefighters will propose increasing the amount of property tax for the district on a $500,000 primary home from $223 to $252, according the Fire District financial officer Bill Pyper.

But taxes cannot increase until fire officials conduct the hearing, which is scheduled at the fire station on Canyons Resort Drive Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.

Firefighters will use the additional funds to maintain staffing levels, purchase equipment and complete capital projects in Park City and the Basin, according to Pyper.

In 2007, a primary homeowner in the district paid $45 in fire taxes per $100,000 of property value. If members of the administrative control board approve the proposed hike, that number would increase $5.75, to $50.30 in 2008.

More bear hunts in 2008

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Taking a "three-pronged approach" to reducing conflicts between bears and humans requires increasing the number of hunting permits, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

The department has proposed increasing the number of permits about 20 percent by issuing 296 black bear hunting permits in 2008.

Most additional permits will be issued in the northern part of Utah where bears most commonly interact with people and damage property, a press release from the Division of Wildlife Resources states.

"[Killing] bears in areas where bears and people come into conflict every year is part of a three-pronged approach the Division of Wildlife Resources is taking to try and reduce the chances of those conflicts [occurring] in 2008," the press release states.

The other initiatives involve educating the public and people who run campgrounds, wildlife officials say.

"The best way to avoid problems with bears is to not do things that attract bears to you in the first place," DWR Mammals Coordinator Kevin Bunnell said in the press release. "When a bear gets into trouble, it’s usually because someone has done something that’s attracted the bear to them or to someone else."

Information about meetings scheduled to discuss increasing the number of black bear hunting permits is available by calling (801) 538-4700. The Utah Wildlife Board is scheduled to debate the matter Jan. 8.

Fire District coat drive

This holiday season firefighters encourage citizens to donate gently used winter wear, blankets and twin-sized comforters to the Peace House in Park City, a non-profit group that assists victims of domestic violence.

"Please join us in our efforts to help make the winter season warm and cozy for the women and children, who because of domestic violence, are unable to remain in the comfort of their home," a press release from the Park City Fire District states.

For information about where items should be donated contact Park City Fire District spokeswoman Tricia Hurd at (435) 940-2514.

Project in the Uinta Mountains

The purpose of a stabilization project underway in the Uinta Mountains is to upgrade dams in the area to a "no hazard" level, U.S. Forest Service officials said.

This means the risk of damage to wilderness and downstream property resulting from potential floods would be no greater than if the dam was not there, a press release from the U.S. Forest Service states.

The work could help stabilize 13 mountain lakes in the Ashley National Forest and High Uintas Wilderness area.

"This has been an excellent demonstration of federal and state agencies cooperating to restore natural integrity within the High Uintas wilderness," Ashley National Forest Supervisor Kevin B. Elliott said in the press release.

The largest structure stabilized so far is the dam at Clements Lake, which cost about $650,000, he said.

"Surmountable obstacles arose and the project didn’t always go as planned but the Clement’s Lake stabilization is a true example of how interagency collaboration can work to benefit local needs and the wilderness resource," High Lakes Stabilization Coordinator R. Brian Paul said.

Dams at the Brown Duck and Island lakes are slated to be stabilized in 2008.