Summit County approves list of projects for 2019
Summit County’s elected officials are taking a different approach in 2019 to how they address the issues identified as priorities for the county.
The County Council, with the help of staff, has outlined specific projects to focus on in the coming months to help further their goals on matters such as transportation, workforce housing and environmental stewardship. The idea was to place more focus on the work that is being done to advance those priorities, Summit County Manager Tom Fisher said.
Last week, the County Council approved a 2019 work plan that outlines more than a dozen projects and directly identifies the goals they relate to. More than three dozen other projects are listed for 2019 that don’t fall under a strategic priority.
“It’s not only for internal use, but really to communicate to the public how we plan to support those strategic priorities,” Fisher said. “We have never broadcasted that beyond adopting a budget. This was another attempt to bring some more public light to the lists of projects we will be working on throughout the year.”
The County Council’s focus continues to be on the five strategic priorities adopted in 2017: transportation and congestion; workforce housing; environmental stewardship; refining the General Plans and Development Codes; and mental wellness and substance abuse issues.
As the Council went through the budget process for 2019, it became clear to elected officials that county staffers felt they needed more resources to fulfill the Council’s goals, Fisher said. Last year, the Eastern Summit County Development Code was updated, the remote parking lot across from Ecker Hill Middle School was constructed and the Mental Wellness Master Plan was adopted.
The County Council approved 10 new employees as part of the 2019 budget to address the growing workloads within various departments, including transportation, sustainability and community development. Several more were requested that the Council ultimately chose not to grant.
“Quite a few full-time positions were requested because of what departments thought the Council wanted them to do as staff,” Fisher said.
Fisher said the work plan will help staff better understand the list of projects and whether they should be prioritized if they relate to the Council’s priorities. He said if an idea comes up during the year, staff will determine where it should be included in the work plan.
Some of the projects for 2019 include updating the Eastern Summit County General Plan and Snyderville Basin Development Code to address items such as watershed protection and zoning districts, and adopting a Kimball Junction neighborhood plan.
Other listed projects include selecting a new behavioral health provider for Summit County, completing the Jeremy Ranch interchange project and establishing a commercial cardboard recycling pilot program. One of the items listed that does not fit under a specific goal includes planning for a potential 2030 Winter Olympics Games.
“There are things that are on that list that are multiple-year projects,” Fisher said. “There are also quite a few that can happen this year. We will be tracking all of those so as staff we can report back on a regular basis on what we have done.”
In the past, Fisher updated the County Council on the larger projects that were underway throughout the year. However, there was not a formal review. The work plan is intended to provide a more detailed look at the specific projects.
“We are really excited about it as staff,” Fisher said. “We think it will be a great way to communicate with the Council and the public. We will evaluate that as the year goes on and see if this tool is accomplishing what we want it to.”
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