County notebook: Guardsman Pass to open, county nurse honored, 200 rides completed in transit’s first week
Guardsman Pass to open
The Utah Department of Transportation is set to open Guardsman Pass on Wednesday, seasonally reconnecting Park City to Big Cottonwood Canyon and reopening a popular scenic drive.
UDOT annually closes several roads for the winter season, including the southern reaches of S.R. 224, where it heads into the central Wasatch and connects with S.R. 190 in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
In a press release Tuesday, the department indicated that another popular seasonal road, the Mirror Lake Highway, is open until it reaches Trial Lake, but that the rest of S.R. 150, which connects Kamas and Evanston, Wyoming, is not expected to open until mid-June.
The typical closure for Guardsman Pass, the department indicated, is from early November to late May.
County nurse gets state recognition
Summit County’s former nursing director, Carolyn Rose, was recently recognized for winning what the Utah Public Health Association called its most distinguished award.
Rose won the 2020 Beatty Award and was recognized last week alongside this year’s winner, Angela Dunn, who rose to prominence as the state epidemiologist and public face of the state’s pandemic response for much of last year.
The public health association recognized Rose’s years of work with the county before retiring last year.
“Carolyn has proven her dedication to public health by acting as a leader and innovator,” an association spokesperson wrote in a prepared statement. “In 2009, when Summit County was one of the first counties in Utah to experience the H1N1 virus outbreak, Carolyn played an instrumental role in coordinating mass flu clinics and organizing nurses and clinical staff to provide services and information to community members.”
Transit announces first week stats
Summit County’s High Valley Transit district launched its microtransit service last week, and officials reported Monday that they were excited to see that people were starting to experiment with the service.
Microtransit is an on-demand public transportation service that brings riders in much of the Snyderville Basin to local destinations or to a bus stop where they can access fixed bus routes.
The fleet of nine minivans were officially put into service last Monday at 10 a.m.
Caroline Rodriguez, the district’s acting general manager, said that in the first week, 67 distinct riders had completed nearly 200 rides in the microtransit system’s minivans.
There were 612 accounts made on the system’s app, Rodriguez said, and wait times for rides averaged one to two minutes or less, with the longest being five minutes.
Officials plan for the service to complement a fixed route system that will launch July 1. The backbone of that system is a bus running along S.R. 224 from Jeremy Ranch to Deer Valley every 15 minutes from 5:45 a.m. to 12:45 a.m. year round.
Rodriguez said 61 calls came into the district’s call center, with 18 connecting to agents.
“Our No. 1 question on the phone lines over this weekend was, ‘Do you go to Woodward and can I fit my skateboard with me?” Rodriguez said. “And the staff reports that the teeneagers that have been calling in to ask are extremely polite and gracious.”
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Summit County’s sales taxes are beating 2019 levels, with an estimated additional $1.2 million in revenue. Councilors debated using the money to hire more employees.