City, Weber Basin approve agreement
Two more steps were taken during the last several days to secure Summit County’s future water supply, and the ‘Master Agreement’ for the county is expected to be finalized in the next couple of months.
On Monday, the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District’s Board of Directors approved the Western Summit County Master Agreement that would make the company the regional water authority for the area. Tage Flint, General Manager and CEO of Weber Basin, conveyed the magnitude of this new way of approaching the region’s water supply.
The agreement was approved by the Summit County Council on Wednesday and the Park City Council on Thursday, both unanimously.
"We think that this is the biggest step towards a regional water solution for the valley that’s ever been taken," Flint said. "The valley now has a secure water supply for the future."
Weber Basin has been the primary lead over the last four years in defining the agreement.
The agreement, summarized last issue, states that Weber Basin will manage and broker any excess water from three public water suppliers: Park City Municipal Corporation, Mountain Regional Water Special Service District and Summit Water Distribution Company.
Among other benefits, the deal is designed to alleviate costs to the suppliers’ insurers that accrued every time a supplier wished to change its demand of water.
"Weber Basin will provide a clearing house for all excess capacity and excess water in the valley now," Flint said. "That way it can be shared among all the parties."
To be passed, the water agreement needed to be approved by four parties, which included Summit County, Park City, Weber Basin and Summit Water. According, to Flint, Summit Water’s Board of Directors already approved the agreement.
Summit Water’s Class A and B stockholders must now approve the agreement in a meeting this Friday, June 28, at 6 p.m. at the Summit Water Treatment Plant on Rasmussen Rd. After that, Flint said, it’s only a matter of "hammering out a few minor issues left."
Flint emphasized that, once the agreement is put into place, the new water supply is going to be secure coming from Weber Basin and that they will treat each of the agencies equally in pricing and in how water supplies are developed.
"They’ll all be on a level playing field," Flint said. "We’ll be sharing the excess water supply from one to another and really be able to stretch the supply out for as long as it will last."
Flint says most of the major issues of contention in the agreement have been "hammered out." After minor changes are made, he expects it to be passed and instituted in a couple of months. Overall, he is proud of the agreement.
An agreement signing ceremony and press conference will be held on Wednesday, June 26, at 11 a.m. at the Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter at 1258 Center Dr. in Park City.
"This is a huge step, and one that a decade ago no one could imagine seeing happen," Flint said. "But it has, and all the parties involved should take credit for that."
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