Wasatch County News
Last week [July 10] I failed to report all of the agenda items that were addressed in Council meeting. The one item was the report of the Aquatics Center given by Dr. Greg Taylor and attended by several other committee members. First given was the results of the Dan Jones Survey. This is a 26 question survey that basically identifies how long people surveyed have lived in Wasatch County, how interested they are in having a center built and how much they are willing to pay if a bond was set up to be voted on by the citizens of Wasatch Co.
According to the study the results indicated that approximately 70% of those surveyed were either in favor or strongly favored an Aquatics Center and that most of those in favor would use a pool 1-3 times a week. The bigger questions regarding the costs showed the majority of respondents reported they would be willing to pay between $10-15 dollars a year on a resident home valued at $100,000. It is estimated that the overall costs of building such a facility would cost between 10-15 million. Further, the costs of operating a pool on an annual basis is estimated to be up to $600,000 yearly to operate the facilities.
The committee report indicated that much of these costs would be defrayed by membership fees and revenue gathering programs from both recreational activities in and outside of Wasatch County. The committee members indicated that to help generate funds in building costs that they would seek outside donations. The question remains to get the resolution on a ballet for voters to make the decision. It was expressed by both Council members and committee members that realistically the soonest this could be done would be 2011. Also, the location of the pool will need to be determined. Thoughts of having the pool located next to the recreation center in Heber is not an option since this would create a negative parking situation. Further study of the unanswered questions will be pursued by the committee.
The Council met on Monday July 12th in a special noticed meeting to address Red Ledges bonds for the infrastructure of water and sewer for their project. The Council took action two years ago to allow Red Ledges to bond for 49 million to complete this aspect of their project. Since the economic turndown all of the bonds could not be sold for this to happen. Therefore, the Council rescinded the original bond and allowed Zion’s Bank to issue up to ½ of the original amount for $24,000,000. In addition the bank required that an additional nearly $4,000,000 be secured from the lenders to cover security of interest on the bond for 1 year. The Council approved this matter with a unanimous vote of 6-0. Not in attendance was Council Chair Kipp Bangeter. Red Ledge spokesman, Todd Cates indicated that this action would allow them to proceed with their project at their planned schedule. When they reach the point of needing more funds Red Ledges will need to request further action from the Council for additional bonding.
This weekend yours truly is attending a National Conference [NACO] with other County elected officials from across the country. Being on the Education and Human Service Steering Committee there are many issues we are addressing. The biggest items are the lack of funding for many of our state run programs funded by the federal government.
At any given time there are 20-30 committee meetings being held simultaneously covering every subject conceivable. What is most interesting is how intertwined and united county officials are as we discuss issues that impact us all. Most of us are concerned about our national debt. One of our own from Utah proposed a resolution to address the debt issue. It proposed a balance budget for the federal government to meet within a reasonable time limit. Unfortunately, the resolution was received with mixed review only because it did not include positions and language wanted by everyone. This resolution will be further discussed by the National Board of Directors from NACO. I am certain this resolution is not going away soon. I will report on my committee assignment after I return from my trip.
Until next time