Summit County officials to focus on transportation, environment and planning
March 10, 2015
What will Summit County look like in 100 years?
"Will we have electric cars, a major train route, or a gondola that encompasses not just the Basin, but the entire county," County Council member Dave Ure asked. "I mean how realistic is that? If we progress in the next 100 years like we have in the last 10 years, then I don’t have the imagination to comprehend it."
Summit County Council members were asked this question last week as the county began its bi-annual strategic planning process to define the county’s goals and visions for the future.
Not surprisingly, the issue of transportation dominated most of the discussion and was placed near the top of most priority lists during the council’s work session on Monday, March 2.
"We’re trying to work out some sort of transportation solution," Ure said. "It is the number one issue that we all agreed on and we all agreed there are lots of different ways to accomplish it."
Every two years, county officials and staff prepare a strategic plan to identify the county’s performance objectives and goals.
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According to Public Information Officer Julie Booth County Council members outlined four core areas to focus on, including transportation solutions, operational planning and regional collaboration with municipalities and surrounding counties, environmental stewardship and economic vitality.
"All four core areas have an overriding theme of regional cooperation," Booth said. "The specifics of the core areas will evolve over the next week as we circulate the document between staff and council."
In an email to The Park Record, Booth said the six priority performance objectives the County Council identified for 2015 are:
- Adopt updated General Plan and revised development codes for Snyderville Basin and Eastern Summit County: in progress
- Adopt a revised Snyderville Basin Transportation Plan: near completion
- Adopt an air quality and water quality strategy: in progress
- Adopt an Eastern Summit County Transportation Plan: completed
- Master Plan for area east of US 40 and north of Interstate 80: near completion
- Adopt a comprehensive environmental clean-up strategy with emphasis on the US 40 corridor: completed
Since 2013, Booth said the county has accomplished "a majority" of the objectives it identified during the last strategic planning process, including:
- Established financial stability, including enhancing revenues
- Adopted an economic diversity strategy
- Adopted a solid-waste master plan
- Adopted a compressive county-wide communications plan
County Council member Roger Armstrong said the county has "accomplished a number of things we set out to over the last two-year period."
"And we will launch the remainder of them shortly," Armstrong said. "I think we did good and I’m excited that we’ve identified some things, some of them new, to concentrate on.
"I think in the last couple of years we have seen it start to heat up fairly substantially again since the recession and we are seeing that now is the time to do what we can to get ahead," he said.
In addition to an obvious focus on transportation, Armstrong said one cause he is going to "try and press for" in the next couple of years is sustainability and renewable energy.
"It is a big deal for me, in particular renewable energy," Armstrong said. "The Summit County Solar Project had a couple dozen new homes signed up and I would hope we will continue to work on that."
Air quality is also still a concern, Armstrong said, and the County Council "wants to try and stay ahead of the curve on that and transportation."
Throughout the next couple of weeks, County Council members and county staff will continue to develop the strategic plan, eventually presenting it to the public for feedback before formally adopting it.
"As with everything, we try and be transparent," Armstrong said. "The idea is to keep people informed as we are going.
"It’s nice to be able to lead and think what needs to be done to make sure the county is taken care of, but when you get public feedback people help you set the agenda and I would hope people will continue to engage us," he said. "If we are setting out our strategies and they think we are missing something, I would hope they would touch base with us. It’s really helpful."
To view the 2013 updated strategic plan, go to http://ut-summitcounty.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/1699 .
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