The big news in Alta, of course, is that following a classic Alta storm cycle last weekend, Alta Ski Area opened for business today with wall-to-wall deep powder conditions under bluebird skies. Most other local businesses have opened for the season as well, and though we got a late start due to warm temperatures in November, we’re off to a great start to the winter season.
I want to take a moment to report on my recent involvement with Mountain Accord, and with the Proposed Central Wasatch National Conservation and Recreation Area Act, H.R. 5718. This legislation, which is intended to fulfill a major aspect of the Accord agreement itself, went before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Federal Lands on November 15th. I traveled to Washington, D.C. for the hearing, and I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with several members of Utah’s Congressional Delegation to talk about the proposed legislation as well as other important aspects of Mountain Accord, particularly transportation. I can report that several members of Congress, including the subcommittee chair, were concerned that this legislation is being advanced despite a lack of concrete progress on resolving transportation issues in the cottonwood canyons. As this legislation moves forward, I will continue to advocate that transportation improvements are prioritized.
I also want to acknowledge some recent controversy regarding the Unified Fire Authority. Alta is one of eight communities in Salt Lake County served by UFA, and the Town spends roughly $120,000 a year for fire protection and emergency response service. I continue to feel that UFA provides outstanding service at a very good price, and John Guldner and I are actively engaged in UFA governance through the UFA Board of Directors. Due to recent allegations of impropriety under previous UFA management personnel, there has been some turnover and restructuring in UFA management. UFA has hired or will be hiring a new Chief, two new Assistant Chiefs–rather than relying on only a single Assistant Chief–a new Chief Legal Officer, and a new Chief Financial Officer. I look forward to continuing to work with UFA as one of the Town’s most important partners.