Summit County wants a seat on Central Wasatch Commission board
Summit County leaders sent a letter last week to members of the Central Wasatch Commission Board formally requesting a seat at the table.
The Commission Board is mainly comprised of elected leaders from the Wasatch Front, with Park City Council member Andy Beerman serving as the Wasatch Back representative. In August, the County Council agreed to ratify Park City Council’s nomination of Beerman to the board.
However, Janna Young, director of public policy and intergovernmental affairs for Summit County, said as the Central Wasatch Commission considers adding representatives from other areas along the Wasatch Front, including the Town of Alta, Summit County deserves its own appointment to the board.
Young cited the county’s financial contribution as one of the reasons. Summit County pays $50,000 annually to participate in the Central Wasatch Commission.
“Instead of having a joint representative, we would like to have our own,” Young said to County Council members on Dec. 13. “We have formalized that request in a letter explaining why we want to join and what we can offer.”
The now-defunct Mountain Accord transformed into the Central Wasatch Commission to implement the ideas set forth in the Mountain Accord. The Commission was established to seek, hold and distribute funds, and enter into contracts on behalf of the participating stakeholders. It is not intended to have authority over local land uses or tax levies.
The Mountain Accord was created in 2012 as a collaborative effort to create a cohesive plan for the central Wasatch Mountains to address growth and development issues related to the environment, transportation, the economy and recreation. Park City Municipal and Summit County were among the program’s members, contributing $200,000 and $100,000, respectively, to stay involved.
The Central Wasatch Commission Board includes Beerman, as well as Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Salt Lake County Councilor Jim Bradley, Sandy City Council member Chris McCandless, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelyvn Cullimore and Carlos Bracera, director of the Utah Department of Transportation. Board members are seated for a two-year term.
The letter requesting appointment, approved by the Council on Dec. 13, highlighted the county’s economic role as the Central Wasatch Commission contemplates expanding access in the Central Wasatch Mountains.
The letter drew attention to the Valley to Mountain Transit Alternatives Analysis Study the county spearheaded, which provides recommendations for “near-term and future transit options to ensure S.R. 224 remains a viable transportation route to the state’s largest ski resorts and other outdoor recreation amenities.”
“We believe Summit County has the expertise, leadership, and resources to help the CWC advance its mission of preserving the Wasatch Mountains for future generations,” the letter states. “We consider ourselves stewards of the mountains and understand personally that they are key to our future as a county. As the CWC realizes and develops a long-term vision for the future of the canyons and mountains in northern Utah, Summit County is a critical voice in that process and we should have a seat at the table.”
County Council members only spent a few minutes reviewing the letter before ultimately approving it.
If the Central Wasatch Commission approves the Council’s request, Council members suggested electing Council Chair Chris Robinson as the county’s representative. Robinson served on the executive committee of the Mountain Accord before it was transformed into the Central Wasatch Commission.
To view the draft letter, go to http://summitcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/7007.
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The project will also lower the speed limit in that stretch from 65 mph to 55 mph.