Wasatch County Asks For More Representation On MIDA Board

At the request of MIDA, Wasatch County Council signed an amendment to their agreement. However, after approving the amendment, the council asked for more representation for the project area near the Jordanelle.

The request to extend Wasatch County’s agreement with the Military Installation Development Authority, or MIDA, was first presented to the county in early March.

The amendment gives a 15-year extension of MIDA’s involvement in the 5,000-acre project area located on the west and north side of the Jordanelle Reservoir. That area includes the Mayflower Mountain Resort, projections say the project area will add $3 billion of value to the county. The amendment also spells out where some of the funds from the 15-year extension will go including the county and fire district.

At Wednesday’s county council meeting council voted unanimously to approve the amendment. The vote was a formality, as a resolution sponsored by Davis County Senator Jerry Stevenson mandating the extension passed through the state legislature earlier in the year.

After voting through the agreement Wasatch County Council Chair Danny Goode asked a favor of MIDA and the developer of the Mayflower Mountain Resort.

“The MIDA board is made up of seven members, but there’s only one who answers to voters from the Wasatch Back,” Goode explained. “That was me and now it’s going to be Steve Farrell. I would ask that MIDA support us in this and Extell support us in this request and the governor and every governor candidate. That the senator that represents both Summit County and Wasatch County and the house representative member who represents both Wasatch County and Summit County be added to that board as well. So, it would be a nine-member board. We’re not looking to take anyone off, but I do think that three members from the Wasatch Back who are accountable to voters, I think that would be an appropriate add. That’s what I’ll be asking everyone who’s running for office, from the governor of all the way down to county council. That’s kind of my litmus test for this election, and I hope everybody will join me on that.”

After making the request council members Marilyn Crittenden, Kendall Crittenden, Mark Nelson, and Steve Farrell all voiced their support of the idea. With the extension now in place, the MIDA project area will be a part of Wasatch County for 40 years.

“We want to have a good relationship with MIDA and we want the senators to know that, Stuart Adams especially the president of the senate,” Goode continued. “We’re not looking to rock the boat, or upset the apple cart, or whatever the expression might be. We want to have a good working relationship, but we’d like to have a little bit more representation where the voters have direct interaction with those MIDA board representatives.”

The proposal would add the District 54 Representative, currently held by Tim Quinn, and the District 26 Senator, currently held by Ron Winterton, to the board.

MIDA Executive Director Paul Morris thanked the council for their time and said they appreciate their partnership.

“MIDA does with you, and the fire district, and the school district, and with Hideout,” Morris said. “We will continue forward we will be transparent and work together.”

Extell Senior Vice President of Development Kurt Krieg offered his brief initial thoughts on the idea.

“I fully understand, and I’ll run it up to Gary (Barnett CEO),” Krieg said. “But truly appreciate it and think the idea is very reasonable. So, we’ll sit with you and MIDA and go through it.”

Krieg also was asked at the meeting about how COVID-19 might affect the project.

“We’re cautiously moving forward,” Krieg explained. “Most importantly we’re concerned to make sure that our workers, the contractors and subcontractors, are healthy. But we anticipate moving forward. We just did a loan extension as well as we’re working with Lewis and Young on a release of assessment bonds to carry us through the summer for civil improvement. We’re continuing to work on the building permit for the MWR. We are seeing some deltas in the trade, actually, some trades are going down, but we do need to figure out the full lending market. But our intention is to move forward.”

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/.