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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Residents Fear Powder Mountain (aka Powderville) Can't Pay For Itself

Don't miss the excellent Di Lewis article in this morning's Standard. The entire article is linked here, but we will pull out some mouthwatering quotes for your morning feast.

The article starts out with:

It’s always about the money. Finances are the largest problem facing the fledgling town of Powder Mountain, say a few residents who applied to be a part of the town government.


Bill Dowell said he believes the biggest challenge Powder Mountain must deal with is money for the construction and upkeep of town infrastructure. With fewer than 60 families in the town, Dowell said, the only sources of income for Powder Mountain are the resort and property taxes. However, with the resort’s income fluctuating based on the whims of Mother Nature, Dowell said he is worried the town will run up a large bill putting in the necessary roads, snow removal and fire and law enforcement, then unincorporate and leave residents saddled with the debt. Dowell said he volunteered for the council to protect civil rights of residents and make sure the resort’s wants are not the sole focus of the town.

Jim Halay, a fellow Powder Mountain resident and the owner of Eden’s Alpine Pizza, shares many of Dowell’s concerns. He said there’s little income for the town, a byproduct of the state law that allowed the resort to incorporate without an independent feasibility study to see whether the town could support itself. While he believes the council should work with the resort developers, Halay said he believes it will be hard to give developers everything they want. “I believe the town is destined to fail,” he said. Halay said the town will receive only a small road fee for plowing, with the other income from sales and property taxes, but there are few businesses in Powder Mountain and he cannot see a way to fund the town “without taxing ourselves to death.”

But there is more:

And for Blaine Belnap, it ultimately comes down to an issue of fairness.

Belnap, who said he is a good friend of Powder Mountain founder Alvin Cobabe, believes the incorporation of the resort as a town without input from residents was “a violation of being an American citizen.” Being on the council would be, for him, a way to look after the welfare of the town. He also strongly believes the town should not pay for a private enterprise or for the many expensive maintenance issues Powder Mountain will soon face.... He said keeping the town running will be a balancing act, but one he hopes people can work on together.

You may recall the Di Lewis article from early September in which Powderville cronies Lavar Lowther and Doc Cobabe had their say, and today's article is apparently the fair and balanced side of the Standard giving some of the Powderville Lost boys their say. By lost boys, we mean those valiant men and women on the County commission's list of potential council members, but excluded from the arrogant developers dream team.

While we were critical of her original article, we applaud Ms. Lewis' "Fair and Balanced" approach.

What say ye now, Ogden Valley-ites?


The Viking said...

These issues have always been an underlying theme with the proposed development at Powder Mountain.

The idea of a town incorporation founded on a poorly conceived law that has since been replaced, is a questionable basis for the start of a community.

Powder Mountain has lost the support of most of the surrounding residents because of their greed and lack of interest for their neighbor's feelings.

USB 3G said...

I am really glad I read this article! With this it has really helped me with my decision.