Summit County notebook: Council, others to continue online meetings; avalanche fences draw scrutiny; rodeo tickets offered for vaccinations
Avalanche fences opposed
Advocates opposing the construction of hundreds of avalanche fences on the Park City ridgeline on Wednesday continued their quest to stop the project.
Seth Dromgoole once again appeared before the Summit County Council to ask officials to halt construction.
Officials have indicated they had no legal recourse to prevent the fences being built, as the permit allowing their use was approved in June and the 10-day appeal window has long since passed.
Vail Resorts is planning to install more than 200 avalanche fences to protect an access road leading to two home sites and a restaurant in The Colony gated community.
Summit County Community Development Director Pat Putt said he had been in talks with Vail Resorts and requested they reexamine the spacing of the fences and their placement.
Councilor Chris Robinson suggested the time was nearly running out and indicated he hoped something could be done to lessen the impacts cited by Dromgoole and others, including on the area’s wildlife and the appearance of the ridgeline.
“I’m very frustrated with this outcome because I do think that it has a pretty big impact that none of us knew about,” he said.
Councilors indicated that the time to prevent the fences was when the master agreement for the development was approved more than a decade ago.
Councilor Doug Clyde indicated it was difficult for county officials to revisit previous agreements, especially where they deal with issues of life and safety.
“I think what you’re seeing is a problem that simply occurs with changing values over decades. When that development agreement, … which is where you would’ve solved this problem, was initially approved, frankly the last thing that the public was concerned about was how they were going to cut their runs, what they were going to do with their wildlife, etc. It was all about, ‘Build this thing as fast as you possibly can.’ That was the approval,” Clyde said. “That was what the American Skiing Company came to the county with. And said if you can’t give us everything — this is way before my time, obviously, decades — if you can’t give us everything that we absolutely want, we’re not going to build you what was then probably a $100 million ski resort. The officials at the time decided that was the priority for the county.”
Virtual meetings to continue
The Summit County Council on Wednesday passed a resolution allowing it to continue meeting virtually even as pandemic-related health restrictions continue to lessen.
Councilors unanimously supported the proposal.
The resolution applies to “any and all agencies, commissions, boards, committees, etc. of Summit County that are public bodies,” but does not include special service districts. That means that planning commissions may be included, while subsidiaries like the Snyderville Basin Recreation District would need to pass resolutions of their own.
The resolution allows for officials to participate electronically as long as the notice announcing the meeting indicates the meeting will be held electronically.
A quorum must still be present, but attendance can be counted virtually or in-person. Officials indicated the council would hold its first hybrid public meeting June 2. Hybrid meetings would feature some members present in person while others attend online.
Officials have said meeting virtually has increased public participation and indicated a desire to maintain the practice.
“It will be a lot safer for us if there’s a blizzard on a Wednesday in the winter, also,” Council Chair Glenn Wright said.
Possible vaccine side effect: rodeo tickets
Participants in a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Kamas on Saturday were to be entered into a drawing to win tickets to popular summertime events, including the Oakley Rodeo.
The clinic was scheduled to run from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 22, at the Kamas City Building, 170 N. Main St.
According to Summit County, vaccines manufactured by Pfizer would be made available to those aged 12-17 and the vaccine manufactured by Johnson & Johnson would be available to those 18 and older.
The vaccine was to be offered for free, and appointments were not required.
Everyone who received a vaccine would be entered into an opportunity drawing to win the following prizes:
Two sets of four tickets to the Oakley Rodeo
Two sets of four tickets to Kamas Fiesta Days Bull Wars
Three sets of four tickets to the Summit County Fair Demolition Derby
Three sets of four tickets to the Francis Frontier Days Rodeo
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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.