North Fork Special Service District

Water Hearing and Monthly Board Meeting

March 11, 2021 @ 6:15 p.m.

This meeting/hearing was held remotely through the ZOOM application

Any members of the public that wanted to join the public portion of the meeting/hearing were asked to email a request for invite to the District Clerk at or call 801.225.7263 or 801.404.4734 prior to the meeting in at least 3 separate public posts.

Executive Session of the Board of Officers

At 6:15 p.m. Dr. Stephen Minton brought to order the March 2021 Monthly Meeting of the Board.  At 6:32 p.m. Gary Liddiard motion to enter close session to conduct board officer training and to discuss personnel issues.  Scott Hart seconded, all aye.  Closed session commenced.

 Board members present:

Dr. Stephen Minton- Chairman, Stewart Olsen-Vice Chair, Scott Hart, Duaine Dorton, Chad Linebaugh, Bert Thomas, Gary Liddiard

Emily Johnson-District Clerk hosted meeting, Training guest speaker Josh McKell-Utah Local Government Trust, Stephen Miche-Public Works Director sat in on meeting

Joe Martin-Controller added into the meeting at 6:40 p.m.

At 7:05 p.m. Scott Hart motioned to exit executive session and enter open session to conduct the Water Hearing and Monthly Meeting of the Board.  Gary Liddiard seconded, all aye.  The hearing commenced and the public was invited into the video meeting.

Water Rate Hearing

At approximately 7:06 p.m. the Water Rate Hearing commenced.

 Board members present:

Dr. Stephen Minton- Chairman, Stewart Olsen-Vice Chair, Scott Hart, Duaine Dorton, Chad Linebaugh, Bert Thomas, Gary Liddiard

 Staff members present:

Stephen Miche-Public Works Director, David Marsella-Fire Chief, Emily Johnson-District Clerk, Aubree Durrant-Public Works, Joseph Martin-Controller, Ryan Taylor-Engineer, Lee Kapaloski-Legal Council

 Public present:

Gene Payne, Henry Payne, Nancy Nielson, Bryan Kindred, Missy Robinson, Chris Bramwell, Steven Spiker

Public Comments

– None

Stephen Miche presented the Hearing 2021 Water Rate Proposal and explained the proposed increase including the monthly meter rate charge and tier block proposed increase rates.  Stephen explained the purpose of the rate increase would allow the District funds for depreciation, bonding for a well and needed repairs.  Dr. Minton-Chairman stated the District and Community Water Committee worked intensively on this matter to create the most equitable system we can for our mountain and for the future.  He stated that this study was not taken lightly, other ski areas and their systems were taken into consideration as well.  Stephen Miche stated the best comparable community was Alta, a lot of the data came from their structure and designed the proposed rates to fit the District’s needs.  Included with this study was Susie Becker of Zions Bank, she aided in the development and gave her approval of the rate increase study and the proposed rate schedule.  Stephen explained that water is a finite resource for the District, because of that the tier blocks are not designed to give discounted rates to bulk water users.  Due to the demographics and low number of residents, the costs can’t be defrayed and this limits the District.  Although the District has a small base, the infrastructure, treatment, testing, etc. is that of a city.

Chad Linebaugh stated there were grant funds the District may qualify for through Utah County and the tourism tax fund based on the TRT (lodging tax) TRCC (restaurant tax).  Because North Fork is a public entity and the resorts reside inside the District, he feels there is a good chance the District would be a good candidate.  Chief Marsella stated he had done some research into this, the issue he has been running into regarding grants, is although the District has a small population the mean income is high enough to disqualify us.  Another issue was that the District is in a Class 2 (second class) County.

Dr. Minton discussed the importance of conservation of water.  As an E3 conservation area (E3 environmental management zone) we are required to do things that other cities or areas are not required to do, this also raises costs.

The water hearing was closed at 7:42 p.m. and the monthly board meeting commenced simultaneously.

Monthly Meeting of the Board of Officers

 Board members present:

Dr. Stephen Minton- Chairman, Stewart Olsen-Vice Chair, Scott Hart, Duaine Dorton, Chad Linebaugh, Bert Thomas, Gary Liddiard

 Staff members present:

Stephen Miche-Public Works Director, David Marsella-Fire Chief, Emily Johnson-District Clerk, Aubree Durrant-Public Works, Joseph Martin-Controller, Ryan Taylor-Engineer, Lee Kapaloski-Legal Council

 Public present:

Gene Payne, Henry Payne, Nancy Nielson, Bryan Kindred, Missy Robinson, Chris Bramwell, Steven Spiker

At 9:45 p.m. role was taken by the District Clerk.  All members of the public had left the virtual meeting, the following Board and District staff were in attendance:

Board members present:

Dr. Stephen Minton- Chairman, Stewart Olsen-Vice Chair, Scott Hart, Duaine Dorton, Chad Linebaugh, Bert Thomas, Gary Liddiard

 Staff members present:

Stephen Miche-Public Works Director, David Marsella-Fire Chief, Emily Johnson-District Clerk, Aubree Durrant-Public Works, Ryan Taylor-Engineer, Lee Kapaloski-Legal Council

 Public Comments

Gene Payne of Broadreach Capital and Sundance Mountain Resort presented a slide show “Guiding Principle and Potential Development”.  Sundance was sold approximately 2 months ago from today.  He wanted to talk about some of the principal ideas and potential projects the Resort is planning.  A brief history of Sundance Resort and the environment were highlighted, including water conservation and the wellbeing of the community.

The 2021/2022 Mountain plan included two new lifts including a high-speed quad with access to Mandan Summit, upgraded snowmaking, additional parking, and Creekside remodel.

Mountain Camp and Creekside Camp preliminary drawings were shown including Creekside Camp “The Inn at Sundance” which could be a 50 to 70 room Inn with multiple structures.  This will include a dinning center “The Canteen”, parking, guest check-in area, small bar, and guest rooms with a covered walkway bridge.

Other potential development/expansion included in the preliminary concepts were listed as follows;

  • Mountain improvements: new lifts, snowmaking improvements, potential terrain expansion, additional parking
  • Creekside renovation, with potential additional facilities for improved functionality in the future
  • New mountain camp/skier’s lodge (18-24,000 square feet)
  • 50-70 room Inn
  • Potential community gathering places
  • 30-50 new residences (condos/townhouse/homes) through the resort over time
  • Water connection to Bearclaw
  • Mid-mountain F&B facility
  • Work sessions and meetings will be conducted soon with the Sundance Resort, these plans are potential and conceptual.

Discussion of the “snow making reservoir” were discussed.  Gene Payne explained that there is a large natural depression on the mountain that could be used to hold water used just for snowmaking.  It would allow the resort to make snow more effectively.  Currently they pull water from the river, but snow making can only be done under certain conditions.  The reservoir would allow snowmaking to be more efficient.  Dr. Minton discussed fractures in the area that occurred during land movement and the issues it has caused in the past with broken water lines, he feels this will need to be studied so the water doesn’t escape and cause flooding or other water related issues.  Gene Payne talked about lining the area and fencing the area.  Chad Linebaugh stated the site is referred to as Archie’s Basin near Lone Pine ski run from the top of Jakes Lift going down Flat Head lift, its down that run on the left-hand side.  It’s naturally meant to be a reservoir.

Dr. Minton inquired if the natural spring still existed near that area.  Stewart Olsen referred to it as “Scott’s Spring”.  Chad stated it was still an active spring.  Dr. Minton stated historically it was discussed to have a pump at that spring to supply water to Bearclaw.  Ryan Taylor-Engineer stated there is a feasibility study on how to get water to Bearclaw, but there was no resolution for the sewer.  There was a plan many years ago to drain sewer in the dry lakebed area, but that was problematic because it was within the source protection zone for the spring.

Ryan Taylor stated that in his short review of the presentation it seemed that the new ski run may run through existing drain fields.  He cautioned that the towers do not go through the existing drains.

Dr. Minton thanked Gene Payne for the presentation, the importance of transparency and communication between the District/community and Resort was discussed including the interconnection of the system.  Gene stated he will share and provide updates in the future as they develop.

Scott Hart presented a document named Aspen Grove Five Year Plan.  This included structures in the Aspen Grove division including restrooms, pavilion, lodge, playground, and the original installed/build dates.  Scott Hart announced the University has advised Aspen Grove can reopen May 1, 2021 (it has been closed due to COVID-19).  He stated some renovations and updates will be made for compliance with wildland interface fire code.  There will be no building or addition to increase the number of guests they can have; it will be improvements and upgrades to the existing infrastructure.

Dr. Minton asked if the combined Sundance and Aspen Grove growth will affect the infrastructure of roads in the District, the fire department, hydrants, will we need new equipment, and the pipe and water in the District?  This will require great coordination between all entities within the District.  Utah Urban Interface and sustainable materials were discussed.

Informational Items

#1 Water Committee Report

Chris Storbeck emailed the February 2021 community water committee report to the Board prior to this meeting.  Stephen Miche stated there is a conflict whether we have enough water from our current sources to meeting our customers need.  This has caused a delay with the master plan.  Stephen Miche and Ryan Taylor will be meeting with The Division of Drinking water to discuss this issue, but the report will be held up until this meeting takes place.

Dr. Minton stated the District is still researching the acre feet and records of the District.  A report will be made to the Board regarding this information.

 #2 District Clerk Information

– Emily Johnson-District Clerk presented. Emily reported there is one Board seat that will be appointed by the County Commissioners next Wednesday.

#3 Fire/EMS Report

– Chief David Marsella presented.  Chief Marsella reported the EMS calls have been a “mirror” of last year as far as call volume but transports have gone down.  We are averaging about 25 calls per month.

The current fire station needs repair, the retaining wall near the station is moving dramatically even though there was some mitigation work done last fall, its continuing to move.

Chief Marsella reports he is close to finalizing two grants, one being a FireWise grant for $25,000 which will aid in fire mitigation for the canyon, it is in its final stages.  We are a finalist for the AIM grant through the Forest Service.  Chief Marsella will be meeting with them next week.  This is a complicated grant but could mean a $75,000 grant for the District.

The garage door on the bay was broken so the ambulance had to be left out overnight.  The door issues have been fixed.

Dr. Minton asked about “dipping” in a pond for fire if the ski run would need to be closed.  Chief Marsella stated they would need to close off roads, trails, and evacuate homes if helicopter operations were needed.

#4 Financial Information

– Joe Martin-Controller was off the call.

#5 Water/Wastewater Report

– Aubree Durrant-Public Works presented.  Graphs and reports were distributed to the Board prior to the meeting.  Duaine Dorton inquired about the source protection information that was mailed out the community.  Stephen Miche stated it was a notice to the community that the information was available.  Due to the size of the document is too large to post on the website in its entirety.   Stephen recommended sharing a link to our dropbox account to allow people to view the report.

Scott Hart stated some toilets at Aspen Grove were being fixed to help with the upper pressure zone leak.  Aubree Durant stated she will see if this helps with the unaccounted water on the upper pressure zone that started a couple of months ago.  In February that amount was 421,327 gallons of unaccounted water.  The upper pressure zone includes Aspen Grove, Redford’s property and approximately 15 individual homes.  Public works has been trying to narrow down the source of the leak.  There are old lines and meters in that area, the stream proximity has created a challenge while listening for water leaks.

Aubree stated the system has 252 meters, approximately 50 have been replaced.  The older meters and meters suspected to be inaccurate are the priority on the list to be fixed.

Baking soda has been used as an alkaline to the MBR after a chemical clean in January. The effect of the chemical clean left a very acidic pH level.  The baking soda was tested to try and neutralize the acidic level.

Action Items

#1 2021 Water Rates

Duaine Dorton asked if while waiting to hear if the County grant was obtainable, we should wait on a water rate change?  Chad Linebaugh stated the next TTAB board meeting is April 12th.  Stewart Olsen stated that by not implementing the rate change now and waiting, it could cause an even larger rate increase due to the delays.  Stephen Miche stated this rate change was calculated to be implemented in 2020 but has been push off due to various reasons, and regardless of the grant this increase will need to take place.

Discussion on the water system and how the water rate calculations were made including conveyance of water and the pipe and meter system.  Fairness and weighing all aspects of the system were considered during the water rate study.  Ryan Taylor-Engineer stated that the rate proposal does underfund the capital replacement fund substantially, so the TTAB grant money could be used to reduce rates but more importantly it could be used for the capital replacement fund, so future generations are not left to deal with these same issues we are facing now.

Gary Liddiard moved that the District adopt the new water rate schedule presented in the Water Hearing effective May 1, 2021 (the first portion 12% increase) and revisit the second increase in 2023 and notify the public.  Stewart Olsen seconded.  All aye, no opposed.  Motion passed.

 #2 Approval of the February 2021 Board Meeting Minutes

Duaine Dorton motioned to accept the February 2021 board meeting minutes as written, Stewart Olsen seconded.  All aye, no opposed.  Motion passed.

#3 Quorum Bylaws

Lee Kapaloski has been speaking with Mr. Shawcroft with the County about producing some bylaws regarding quorums for the District.  Lee will investigate creating bylaws for the District regarding quorums and voting on action items. Matter not voted upon at this time.

 #4 Dave Boshard Consultant Invoice

Duaine Dorton motioned to pay Dave Boshard for his consultation services, Scott Hart seconded.  All aye, no opposed.  Motion passed.

#5 Stephen Miche Employment Contract

Duaine Dorton moved to table this matter until a closed session could be had between Stephen Miche and the Board of Officers to discuss the terms of the contract.  Dr. Minton seconded, all aye, motion tabled.

 #6 Budget Revision Wildland

Duaine Dorton proposed the matter be tabled until a full financial analysis is provided to the Board regarding the wildland budget and purchase of a new fire engine.  Gary Liddiard seconded. All aye no opposed.  Matter tabled.

#7 Firehouse Architectural Plan

Stewart Olsen stated the Board should have a retreat to discuss a 5-year plan for the entire District to give Stephen Miche and Chief Marsella direction as to what the committees should be working towards.  Scott Hart stated he will work with the fire committee to provide more information.

Gary Liddiard motioned to table the matter, Duaine Dorton seconded.  All aye, no opposed.  Matter tabled.

 #8 Water Moratorium

Due to the water adjudication taking place and trying to ensure the Districts water rights, Stephen Miche and the Community Water Committee recommend that the Water Moratorium and Water Moratorium addendum stay in place and that any new development outside of rights that have already been promised cease until the adjudication and water rights are secured.  The master plan is being held up because The Division of Drinking Water believes we are overextended on our consumption connections.

Stewart Olsen motioned to continue the Water Moratorium as recommended by the Water Community Committee. Gary Liddiard seconded, ally aye no opposed.  Motion passed.

 #9 Budget Revision Wildland

Stewart Olsen motioned to allow Loughlin Engineers to aid in researching the District’s water rights including the rights being questioned by the State Engineers in the Water Adjudication process.  Consultation fees are not to exceed the amount of $5,000. Gary Liddiard seconded, all aye no opposed.  Motion passed.

Closing Comments

 Dr. Minton instructed the District Clerk to work with Utah Local Governments Trust to raise the torque cap insurance prior to the May 2021 renewal date and authorized Emily to pay the increased expense.

Dauine Dorton announced he no longer works for Sundance Mountain Resort; he is a representative of the Redford Ranch.  Stephen Miche asked if the Discharge Permit contact should be changed to Chad Linebaugh, Duaine stated Chad Linebaugh will be the new contact on the Sundance Mountain Resort Wastewater Discharge Permit.

Emily Johnson asked that the Board complete their online training and send her their certificates of completion.  She will be mailing out a conflict of interest for all board members to complete for the upcoming 2020 financial audit.

At 10:32 Scott Hart motioned to close the Monthly Meeting of the Board of Officers, Duaine Dorton seconded.  All aye, no opposed.  The meeting ended at 10:32 p.m.

  • Minutes noted and recorded by Emily Johnson-District Clerk.
  • Thomas Merrill left the Board in January 2021 and his place has not been filled