Midway City Council Gets Update On Four Properties Applying For Open Space Bond Money

Midway City Council received a report on the efforts from their Open Space Committee. The council also continued approval for a subdivision that would place just one house on seven acres.

The Midway open space committee brought four applications that have moved along the furthest to the Midway City Council at their Tuesday October 1st meeting.

One of the four landowners applying for the Midway Open Space Bond is the Kohler Dairy Farm. Midway City Mayor Celeste Johnson outlines the other three properties that the Midway Open Space Committee presented to the Midway City Council.

“A large parcel that has been farmed all these years,” Johnson explained. “It was actually one of those pieces where the then president of the United States literally deeded it to this family, and it’s been in the family all this time. Another parcel that’s close to the center of town but has a historic barn on it. It’s only seven acres but it’s this type of thing that would preserve the character and charm of Midway. And then finally a parcel that again is sort of what would maybe be considered an infill lot, even though it’s 10 acres. It is surrounded by housing and it’s one of those surprising pieces of property that as you’re driving along all of a sudden in the middle of this you’ve got this 10-acre parcel with horses and a hay field. It really represented the spectrum of what we’ll be looking at.”

The four properties referenced as the Brown, Lundin, Siggard and Kohler properties are all still in application phases. Meaning no decisions have been made and no money given for a conservation easement. Mayor Johnson praised the work done by the Midway Open Space Board thus far.

“100-percent volunteer labor, who has so thoroughly taken on this task of vetting out the applicants who would like to participate in the open space,” Johnson continued. “The photography of each piece of property was consistent with the next, so it was a very unbiased look at what we can do. It was an opportunity for the City Council to be brought up to speed with how this is moving forward.”

The Brown Property is located around 700 Pine Canyon Road, the Lundin Property by 1000 Bigler Lane, the Siggard Property near 100 West 250 North and The Kohler Property around 920 River Road. Photos of their locations can be found on KPCW.org

Additionally at Tuesdays meeting council discussed the creation of a subdivision with just one home.

“We all assume a subdivision means multiple homes,” Johnson said. “All a subdivision means is that you are dividing a parcel of land. One of the really awesome things that was done in Midway several years ago was the creation of the rural preservation subdivision. This was something that is incentive based. Where if you choose to do less density—and there are some parameters around this—the approval process has been shortened for them. They don’t have the same requirements for infrastructure. They can use a septic tank if there a certain distance away from a sewer line. A lot of cost saving measures to incentivize folks to not develop their property to full density but rather to protect it.”

The rural preservation subdivision limits one home for every five acres. Additionally the incentives don’t allow these properties to apply for open space bond money.

“This particular parcel is one home on seven acres,” Johnson explained. “Right next to it will be another rural preservation subdivision, which I believe is about 30 acres and it will only have five homes. So, these are ways we’re protecting our open spaces.”

The Walker Farm final approval was continued on Tuesday and will appear before the council at their next meeting.

Read the original story at KPCW.org

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: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.