Armstrong wants to set attainable goals for Council
December 31, 2013
Summit County Council member Roger Armstrong believes the Council has made great headway on its strategic goals and priorities this year, but with two members approaching the end of their current terms next year he wants to achieve more concrete goals in the next 10 months.
Council members Dave Ure and Chris Robinson are approaching the end of their current terms, and Armstrong thinks the current Council has achieved much but should strive for more specific goals before the Council’s composition is potentially changed.
One of Armstrong’s main priorities is updating the Snyderville Basin Transportation Master Plan. With more growth slated for Summit County’s future, regional collaboration on transportation is also a focus the Wasatch Summit serving as an example.
"Sometimes it seems like we can get so involved in the theoretical that we miss some of the opportunities," Armstrong said. "We need to start getting into more detail about alternative modes of transportation and have the ski resorts come up with a comprehensive set of solutions."
In the realm of economic growth, Armstrong said economic diversity has been one of the county’s top goals. He said that Alison Weyher, the county’s economic development specialist, has done a great job of getting conversations started with the various mayors in addressing what economic struggles their towns face.
The county’s joint economic task force with Park City has also been looking at ways to manage economic growth and promote diversity. Armstrong wants to identify which businesses and industries they would like to attract to the area, selling the greater Park City area’s lifestyle to potential move-ins.
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"It’s probably time that we start getting into the specifics and develop a toolbox of incentives to offer businesses," Armstrong said. "We want the kind of growth coming in that Park City citizens can say, ‘I think that’s so cool that we have that kind of business here.’"
Environmental stewardship has been another strategic priority for the county, and Armstrong is especially proud of the recent finalization of the Toll Canyon open space, which he called a "crown jewel." Looking more at alternative sources of energy, however, is what he wants to start focusing on.
In particular, Armstrong wants to look at the possibility of delving into community choice aggregation (CCA), a system in which cities and counties can combine the purchasing power of their individual utility customers to create alternative energy contracts.
In a CCA, customers can decide which source of energy they would like to utilize and then pay accordingly. Thus, those who prefer wind or solar can pay more on their utility bill to know that they are supporting alternative energy. With enough customers buying into alternative energy, however, the price can come down.
"If you’re willing to pay $10 a month more on your power bill, you have to opportunity to do that," Armstrong said, adding that the county’s solar program is a great example of a system in which the overall price came down when enough people signed on.
Armstrong said he would be willing to have the county partner with Rocky Mountain Power in developing a system similar to a CCA, and hopes that by next November they are taking concrete steps toward a specific goal for alternative energy.
In regards to goals related to transportation, economic diversity and sustainability, Armstrong wants to look at the equivalent of a two-year plan that also sets milestones along the way.
"In the next 12 months, what can we accomplish?" Armstrong said. "In order to satisfy any goal, we have to create a plan and lay the groundwork."
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