Two years ago, the idea of making Snyderville Basin into its own city was brought up during a Summit County Council meeting. A potential name was even bantered about: Moose Valley. It’s the name that likely caused most residents in unincorporated Summit County to give pause. They would lose their “Park City” address.
The upside of becoming a city is that we could finally collect Resort Tax from Canyons resort. Only cities can collect this 6.3% tax on spending, while counties can’t. With the revenues that could be brought through this tax, many improvements could be made throughout our community.
So, this brings us back to the topic of incorporating the Snyderville Basin. Today’s Salt Lake Tribune reports that Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams “has a plan to create a ‘metropolitan township,’ preserving the tax base needed to provided services in unincorporated townships.. while maintaining the right of the communities to become cities. These townships are areas like Emigration Canyon and Millcreek, that are part of Salt Lake County, and are thought of as Salt Lake City, but are not officially part of the city. This is much like how Snyderville Basin is part of Summit County but not officially part of Park City.
McAdams plan is to make an official service district, that provides all services Salt Lake county provides. The Salt Lake County council would then meet (along with public hearings) to determine boundaries for townships and add specific structure to how the service district would work. McAdams is also working with the state legislature to draft a “Community Preservation Act.” If approved it would have unincorporated-area residents go to the polls in November to answer the question “Do you want your area to become part of a)a metropolitan township or b)city?” If an area votes to for this, a five member council would be elected to enable residents to have control over municipal services like road construction/maintenance and animal control services. After forming the Council, each community would have 6 months to decide whether to stay in the special service district or provide for its own services. Either way, they can continue to be a township or city.
While this proposal and legislation are targeted specifically at Salt Lake County, should it pass and be reasonably successful, there is no reason to think that the Snyderville Basin couldn’t follow in its footsteps. The Basin could use it as a blueprint for how to proceed with its own incorporation ideas.
Why would the Snyderville Basin ever consider such a move? There are a number of reasons: the resort tax, more control over policy, and potentially more control over tax dollars. Our future would be guided more out of [insert our new city name here] than Coalville.
That last sentence does bring up the elephant in the room… the address. Those of us in the Snyderville Basin would no longer live in “Park City.” Maybe that’s OK. People are saying Park City ain’t what she used to be. People are saying “Have you seen the traffic in Park City?” Perhaps the Park City brand isn’t what it used to be.
Maybe it’s time for “New Park.” We know, that’s clearly been done before. We at the Park Rag are clearly not into marketing… but we’re sure some bright people around here are. So, maybe some marketing genius can come up with something. If not, saying you live “right outside Park City” might be good enough.