Wasatch County Government Aiding Business Community As They Prepare For Next Phase In Pandemic

Utah’s COVID-19 task force has marked this Friday, May 1st as a date for a gradual re-opening of the state. Wasatch County is busy preparing local businesses for when the county decides to open.

Wasatch County Manager Mike Davis says while essential businesses such as grocery stores have remained open, if the county is to begin opening other businesses there will be provisions. Davis explains Health Department Director Randall Probst has been working with businesses creating a plan for eventual re-opening of services.

“They have to have a plan in place for masks, gloves, social distancing, and so forth,” Davis continued. “(Randall Probst) has been working with those plans. So if that happens, it’ll likely happen on the 1st.”

Businesses who have a plan in place can apply to the county for needed supplies. The county has ordered hand sanitizer, disinfectants, and 50,000 surgical masks to make available to businesses. Davis says the county will spend $60,000 this week on supplies and will continue to order them as needed.

The county is ordering the supplies in part because of established connections and also because they can order in mass volume.

“We’re using every avenue we can to find these types of supplies. When they’re in short supply I think it’s a little bit who you know,” Davis said.

Davis says that they’ll ask businesses who use the supplies to pay the county back at cost. Although a few businesses might not be able to pay for the supplies upfront.

“Some of these businesses without income have just drained their savings accounts,” Davis explained. “So hopefully we can help them get back on their feet”

Businesses with questions about necessary supplies and general inquiries about economic response to COVID-19 in the Heber Valley can reach out to the Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce.

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/.