Wasatch County Council Hears Update On Emergency Protocols

Wasatch County Council received an update on county emergency protocols on Wednesday.

Wasatch County Emergency Manager Jeremy Hales spoke to the Wasatch County Council to discuss the county government’s preparations for any emergency the local government might face.

“We are trying to determine in the event we have an emergency—not just for COVID-19 but any emergency, an earthquake, or something that may disrupt the overall function of the County government—what do we minimally need to maintain and function,” Hales continued. “There’s a lot of great preparation by many of our departments within the County that are prepared. As far as funding, as far as keeping things clean, doesn’t matter what it is, we need to have that preparation. PPE, or personal protective equipment, is going to become very critical. A lot of our departments have it, but we cannot buy our way out of this. We need to be resourceful and be proactive in what we’re doing.”

Hales notes that planning has included identifying vital services and encouraging meetings to be held virtually. Communication and alternate facilities were also a part of the conversation around protocol in an emergency scenario.

“That’s what we’re doing on a County level, is to try to prepare people to think outside the box,” Hales said. “I’m also going to encourage you to do that same thing. What do we need to do as a council government, who’s going to maintain that spot? If we lose some people and then they have to get quarantined, or they’re not able to make it back in the event of a disaster. If I was in Salt Lake today who’s going to take my spot as emergency manager and answer to that if I’m stuck in Salt Lake City and I can’t make it up the highway.”

Hales added that he thinks preparation has gone well as they’ve quickly filled in any gaps.

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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: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.