Rocky Mountain Power’s Complaints Against Midway Gets Initial Hearing This Tuesday

Rocky Mountain Power has agreed to provide Midway with multiple bids for the cost to bury transmission lines underground. Once Midway receives the bid, they’ll have two weeks to make a final decision. The power company is taking more steps to ensure that deadline remains firm.

The Midway City Council unanimously approved in December the joint conditional use permit submitted by Rocky Mountain Power and Heber Light & Power to construct new transmission lines to carry power through the southern portion of Midway. The permit’s approval was conditioned on a few items, the key one being that the lines be buried—if Midway can secure the funds to pay for the additional costs.

Now, Rocky Mountain Power is challenging the city’s conditions of approval. The initial hearing for the power company’s petition by the Utah Utility Facility Review Board is set for Tuesday.

Rocky Mountain Power spokesperson Spencer Hall says even though they’ve filed the complaint, the company is still following the requirements Midway laid out in their conditional use permit, and they desire for Midway and its residents to get the results they want.

Rocky Mountain Power will provide the city with multiple competitive bids from companies who would bury the transmission lines. They suspect the bids may come in near the end of February or early March. Per the agreement, once the bids are provided to the city, Midway will have two weeks to finalize funding for the project. Rocky Mountain Power is moving forward with their complaint to the facility review board to ensure the project will proceed by placing lines overhead if Midway is unable to secure the funds in the two-week window.

In their petition to the review board, Rocky Mountain Power claims the city council’s decision is invalid in part because the language of the permit is unclear as to whether Midway made a final decision on the application. Additionally, they say the city may not have entered into a written agreement to pay the actual excess costs, and even if they had, the city has waived the right to impose the condition that the project be constructed underground because the excess costs have not been paid. Rocky Mountain Power also argues the city has imposed conditions that exceed its authority.

Rocky Mountain Power initially filed their petition on January 15 but asked the commission to wait to schedule a hearing until a later date. On Feb. 18, the board scheduled the initial hearing for Tuesday at 1 p.m.

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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: