Brighton Estates Suit Against Wasatch County Likely Heading To Trial

For the second time attorneys representing Brighton Estates and the Wasatch County Council sought summary judgment from the court in their dispute regarding the dissolvement of the Brighton Estates Special Service District by the council in April 2017.

At Tuesday morning’s hearing Fourth District Court Judge Jennifer Brown recognized both parties desire to seek summary judgment but cited that disputes over the terms of a loan precluded her from deciding the case as a matter of law.

“There is disputed evidence and testimony regarding the vote by the property owners which is being basically argued that it may be a contract term of the loan,” Judge Brown said. “Although interpretation of a contract is a legal matter, here the intention of the parties is key.”

Judge Brown stated that there were two equally plausible interpretations of the provision regarding the vote from the Brighton Estate property owners.

“From the county’s perspective, the county retained the ability to determine feasibility of the planned services and that the vote of the property owners does not, and could not, override that determination,” Judge Brown continued. “Second is from Brighton’s perspective is that the property owner’s association intended for the vote of the owners to be the determining factor as to feasibility. Meaning that regardless of cost, if the property owners were willing to pay, then providing the services was feasible. Here that dispute is highly material because it is key to determining whether the county’s decision, that the planned services were not feasible, was controlling such that the loan did not become repayable and the district was properly dissolved.”

Judge Brown said the disputed issue of material fact precludes her of granting summary judgment as she denied both motions.

Brighton Estates Property Owners’ President Mark Fischer said following the judgment that their main concern is safety in Brighton Estates.

“There are no fire hydrants up there and there’s no way to effectively put out a forest fire in the event that that unfortunate event would occur,” Fischer explained. “So, we’re simply trying to get in place some long-term life safety things, such as fire hydrants and proper access. We remain determined and we’re going to see it through.”

Fischer says that they are hoping for a trial date in the near future.

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Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: