Wasatch County Council Agenda Includes Assessor Staff, County Trails

County trails, additional staff for the Assessor’s office and an annexation agreement are all on the Wasatch County Council’s agenda Wednesday.

Wasatch County Council meets in a regular session Wednesday at 3:00 pm in the county administration building located at 25 North Main in Heber.

Council will begin by discussing potentially participating in funding for a countywide trail planner. The position would be through the Mountainland Association of Governments with funding coming from MAG, Midway, Heber and the county health department.

The council will also discuss and possibly approve two additional staff for the County Assessor’s office. One appraisal technician and a certified residential appraiser. The discussion of adding staff to the office comes after a clerical error—made in May 2019 and later discovered in the fall—cost government entities an under-collection of six million dollars in county taxes. The original mistake was related to an overestimated value of a home in the Twin Creeks area.

In the counties published summary of events regarding the six million tax error, the county pointed at hiring additional staff in the assessor’s office as part of a plan to ensure avoiding a similar mistake in the future, council will be discussing whether to move towards hiring more help in the assessor’s office.

The council will also consider approving an annexation agreement with Midway City for a portion of Wasatch Mountain State Parks. In order to maintain the resort tax status that Midway City currently benefits from more rental capacity is needed. Midway hopes to add that through campsites at Wasatch Mountain State Park with approximately five square miles to the cities land use map. The result would be nearly 500 more transient rental capacity, without adding development to the city. In order to annex the land, the city must come to an agreement with the county council.

Additionally, the council will hold half-a-dozen public hearings in connection to requests regarding parcel subdivisions, recreation resort parks and approving a new road plat.

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/.