Anonymous Comments Will Be Removed

Anonymous posts can be confusing and hard to follow with several users posting anonymously in the same thread. Please create a User Name/ID when adding to our comments section.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Boaters receive maximum jail sentence for Pineview Reservoir incident

The Standard reported today that the boaters involved in the Pineview incident in which Huntsville resident Esther Fujimoto was killed, received the maximum jail sentence.

 Boaters receive maximum jail sentence for Pineview Reservoir incident
Colton Raines, convicted at trial in February on charges of reckless endangerment and failure to render aid, both class A misdemeanors, and obstruction of justice, a class B misdemeanor, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in Weber County Jail.

Robert Cole Boyer, convicted at the same trial as Raines, was sentenced to one year in Weber County Jail for obstruction of justice, his only charge.

Both sentences were the maximum allowed under law.

The sentencing of the two ends criminal proceedings in the Aug. 21, 2011, death of Esther Fujimoto. She bled to death from massive injuries caused by the defendants’ boat propeller as she swam the reservoir. A wrongful death lawsuit is pending.

Co-defendant Skyler Shepherd was also sentenced in January to the maximum 2 1/2 years on the same charges that Raines faced.

 Shepherd had a more active role, as he actually piloted the boat away from Fujimoto after she’d been hit.

The three men were not charged for the actual collision, considered an accident, but for failing to make any attempt to assist Fujimoto or inform authorities about her plight.
Second District Judge Ernie Jones, in announcing the sentences, said Raines showed a callous absence of caring for another human being.

He noted that Boyer had eight prior misdemeanor convictions, five involving alcohol.
In sentencing Shepherd, Jones had called him callous and spineless.
 The honorable Judge Ernie Jones threw the book at the three, although we think the book should have been a little thicker.

Weber County Forum Exclusive: Standard-Examiner: Weber County to Back $22.5M Bond to Improve Powder Mountain

The Weber County Forum offers a fantastic synopsis to the recent brouhaha regarding the Assessment bond between Weber County and the Summit Group.  In fact, it is so incredible we will include it in it's entirety below.

From the Weber County Forum:
Keeping our fingers crossed that our Weber County Commissioners will yield to the highest principles of open government in the future

With reference to the discussion we've been having over the past couple of days concerning the County's proposal to issue an assessment bond to fund public road, water and sewer improvements within and around the Summit Group's Powder Mountain 1500 acre property, we'll shine the spotlight on this morning's Standard-Examiner story, reporting that the Weber County Commission "cranked up the throttle to full speed ahead" and voted yesterday morning to approve such bonding for a 20-year term, in an amount of $22.5 million :

"The commission will also hold a public hearing during its regular April 9 meeting regarding a conditional-use permit for" [the related] "Summit at Powder Mountain Phase 1, which consists of a 154-unit residential development," the Standard-Examiner story also inexplicably reports, possibly in part to placate any irate Weber County citizens who might still feel miffed about being cut out of the discussion on the bonding matter.

As a whole however, the S-E's Jesus Lopez, Jr. hits all the major points and  provides his S-E readership with an efficient, informative and reassuring writeup, which also dovetails nicely with our own earlier WCF Nutshell Summary, wethinks.

While we remain unhappy with the Commission's troubling lapses which we've noted regarding pre-vote public information and comment which launched some Weber County citizens off on a "tizzy" over the past few days, as we've previously said, we regard this bond measure as benign to Weber County taxpayer interests, nevertheless. So at this late date we'll somewhat begrudgingly resolve to "chalk it all up" by invoking the old, tried-and-true sports axiom: "No harm; no foul," we suppose.

Having said that of course, we're still hoping that the Commissioners will yield to the highest principles of open government from this point on, and invite the lumpencitizens of Weber County into the information loop, well prior to putting its next multi-million dollar bonding deal on the table.

Hopefully Commissioners Bell, Gibson and Zogmaister will "write this latter advice down so they don't forget it," in the interest avoiding any similar future bouts of painful Weber County taxpayer heartburn, if you know what we mean; and we think you do....

And what say YOU about all this, folks?

Burglar steals snowmobiling items from Club Rec in Eden

The Standard reported yesterday:

EDEN — The Weber County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft of about $2,000 in snowmobile clothing in a business burglary near Eden.

Club Rec, in the Monte Cristo snowmobile park, was apparently burglarized sometime between March 22 and March 24, said Weber County Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Lowther. The burglar used forced entry to get into the business.

No arrests have been made.

The thief took several pairs of bib pants, parkas, coats and a pair of snowmobile handle bars.

Similar items were recently advertised for sale on, but investigators have not confirmed the clothing came from Club Rec.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Important Weber County Commission Meeting This Morning @ 10 am

Just a reminder of the important Weber County Commission meeting to be held this morning.

Weber County Commission Chambers
Weber Center, 2380 Washington Boulevard, Ogden, Utah, 
10:00 a.m.
Tuesday, the 26th day of March 2013.

Many important Ogden Valley related items are on today's agenda, including:

6.           Request for approval to set the date of April 9, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. for a public hearing regarding Conditional Use Permit (CUP) 2013-03 (Summit at Powder Mountain Phase 1) consisting of a 154 unit Planned Residential Unit Development (PRUD) at Powder Mountain.

 E.       Action

               1.           Discussion and/or action on a proposed Weber County Library Development, Construction and Financing Plan including a general obligation bond election.
                             Presenter: Commissioner Gibson

               2.           Request for approval of a second reading of an Ordinance to increase the Weber County Sheriff Office’s fees.
                             Presenter: Chief Deputy Kevin Burton

  4.           Discussion and/or action on a Weber Pathways Request for Use of Impact Fees.
                             Presenter: Nate Pierce
               7.           Request for approval of a contract by and between Weber County and Free and Associates to provide an appraisal of the proposed Powder Mountain Development for purposes of creating a special assessment area- provides a revised fee schedule and replaces agreement #C2013-23 funds to pay for the appraisal will come from Summit Mountain Holding Group.
                             Presenter: Dan Olsen              

               8.           Request for approval of a Memorandum of Understanding between Weber County and Summit Mountain Holding Group, L.L.C. relating to the creation of a Special Assessment District for the purpose of making certain public improvements.
                             Presenter: Douglas Larsen 

We will also provide a link to the Weber County Forum where Rudi provides an outstanding overview and explanation of the bond issue.  Click here to view.

Lastly, did you attend the Town Hall meeting last evening presented by the Summit Group?  What were your impressions?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Summit Assessment Bond Town Hall Meeting reminder and updates

UPDATED@ 11:30 am with a guest post from Steve Clarke

In preparation for tonight's Town hall meeting sponsored by the Summit Group, we will include some clean up items along with a couple of guest submissions.

But first, here are the details of the meeting.

Tonight, March 25, 2013 @ 7:00 PM
Pineview Lodge @ Wolf Creek (Behind Harley & Bucks)

We will also include a letter to Commissioner Zogmaister that was forwarded to us with some sage advice, we think:

Commissioner Jan Zogmaister : I am a part-time resident in Ogden Valley for over 15 years and own a condominium and townhouse in Moose Hollow which is a part of Wolf Creek Resort. As such I pay over $10,000 a year in property taxes.

When the Summit Series people arrived on the scene approximately a year ago to evaluate and ultimately purchase Powder Mountain, they were favorably viewed particularly in light of the previous developer (Powder Town). It is an understatement to say that Powder Town was not favorably viewed by the residents of Ogden Valley.

Fast-forward a year and the residents of Wolf Creek while still hopeful that the Summit Series people will be good citizens and custodians of the treasure of Powder Mountain, some of us are getting concerned and skeptical about Summit Series and what appears to be elitist behavior. Some people are concerned that after a year or two the Summit Series will turn Powder Mountain into a private club similar to the debacle at Wolf Creek which led to its bankruptcy.
Since this proposed $17 million bond whether revenue or otherwise, is being issued under the umbrella of the Weber County government unit, it would make sense to insure a public benefit in the form of a covenant that Summit Series agrees to keep Powder Mountain (or at least the currently existing ski mountain) both public and affordable. Affordable would be defined as not raising ticket prices more than the cost of living etc. along with no additional fees to the public.
I hope you will give serious consideration to my proposal to insure that there is a public benefit in exchange for this bond and that Powder Mountain continues to be available to all of us.
Joe Buchanan

We will finish up with some pertinent links from the last couple of days regarding the proposed bond.

From the Weber County Forum: Ogden Valley Forum: Weber County Commissioners Make Plans to Carry $17 Million Bond for Pow Mow Private Developers Summit Group - Updated

Summit to host Town Hall meeting Monday regarding the proposed special assessment bond.

 We have applauded the Summit Group in the past for their apparent openness and outreach to the community, but were disappointed to hear that the county has chosen to present this and potentially act on a $17 Million decision with little or no input from the residents of the county.  We hope the Summit Group will have an open discussion this evening and we urge them to stick around until every question from residents and neighbors has been fielded. 

 What say ye Ogden Valley faithful? 

 Update @ 11:30 am on March 25, 2013 

We just received this guest post from Steve Clarke

Be informed on the Summit Bond question
The $17M bond for roads, water, and sewer at Summit Eden are a hot topic.  Why no public hearing, why no news coverage, what does it mean to me as a taxpayer?
We all assume the worst when we don’t know better, so let’s make sure we have the facts before exhausting our energy.

The applicable law is Utah Code Title 11 Section 42, the Assessment Area Act.  Here’s the link: .  Once you’ve waded through the pages of definitions we see a state law written to enable the “local entity” (in our case the County) to work with developers to install public utilities (which will eventually become property of the County) using a bond which is paid for by the property owners within the area being served. 

There are several ways the public is protected in case the developer goes bankrupt.  For example: The County holds a lien on the property that supersedes even the 1st mortgage of a residence built on the property, the bond is set up in phases, a reserve fund can be established, etc.  Our State legislature has thought long and hard about protecting our interests as taxpayers.

The law provides for property owners within the area being assessed to file a written protest.  It requires public notices and a public hearing for those property owners.  In the case (like Summit) where there is a single owner the public notice and hearing can be waived.

Folks, if we have a concern about this process let’s get our input to our State legislators.  Our Commissioners and the petitioner (Summit) are following the law to the “T” in this case. 

The bigger issue for us is how we protect the rural atmosphere and other values of our General Plan in the face of “big money” and developers of every persuasion coming to the Valley, as they surely will.  The answer is to get land use ordinances in place which help manage the growth without stepping too heavily on the property rights of each and every one of us, especially our larger land owners.  Having been involved in this process for the last 10 years I can tell you we are not there yet!  Ask the Commissioners and our Planning Commission for action.  They know what the next steps are, but those steps require a consulting budget and public process which will demand their commitment.  With folks like Summit at their desks almost every day asking for their support our County officials need to know we care and wish planning to take a higher priority.

Respectfully, Steve Clarke


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Summit to host Town Hall meeting Monday regarding the proposed special assessment bond.

Guest post by the Summit Team

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

In response to the public interest in learning more about the proposed special assessment area Summit has been working through with Weber County, we welcome you all to come to an information session and Q & A at Pineview Lodge at 7pm tomorrowMonday, March 25.

See below for an FAQ that addresses some initial questions, we'll be happy to discuss these and additional questions tomorrow. We hope to see you there!

What is an Assessment Bond and what are they used for?
Assessment Bonds are authorized pursuant to Title 11 Section 42 of the Utah State Code and are an excellent tool to use to finance public infrastructure as only the properties benefitted by the improvements are subject to the assessment. In the case of Summit Mountain Holding Group’s (SMHG) development at Powder Mountain, the burden of financing the main roads, sewer and water improvements will be placed solely on the units within the 1540 acre assessment area. The improvements being financed are public improvements, whose installation will be overseen by the County, and will be owned by the County and included in the County’s assets. It is due to this fact that the financing can be done on a tax-exempt basis through the issuance of municipal bonds even through the burden of repayment is placed on the limited number of properties described above.

How are Assessment Bonds supported? What is the security?

The payment of annual assessments is the revenue source that will be used to make the bond payments and, as such, the rating agencies deem these types of bonds as self-supporting debt. The real property being assessed are the security for the debt. A lien is place on the property being assessed and the lien is on parity with the regular property tax lien on that same property. Beneficially for the County, the assessment lien trumps all other liens that may now, or in the future, be placed against the property being assessed until the assessment relative to the property has been paid in full. Stated another way, the property is the security for the bonds— and the lien even stands in front of a first trust deed lien that is placed on any property by a mortgage company.

Does an Assessment Bond inhibit or impair the County’s ability to issue bonds for other projects?

Due to the fact that the assessment payments and specific real property being assessed serve as the repayment source, and the rating agencies deem these types of bonds as self supporting, the assessment debt in no way inhibits the County’s ability to issue other bonds for other projects or in using it’s cash to fund other capital facilities that it chooses.

Is the County pledging to raise property taxes or sales taxes?
The County is not pledging to raise property taxes in the County for repayment of the assessment bonds nor is it pledging sales taxes to repay the assessment bonds. The source of repayment is the assessment on the limited number of properties.

What does State law require regarding notice of a proposed Assessment Bond?
Given that the assessment is only placed on certain benefitted properties, the process to issue is not intended to involve the public at large but only those who are to be assessed. State law does require notice to be sent to those being assessed and provides the ability for those being assessed to protest the designation of the assessment area. Alternatively, if 100% of the property owners to be assessed acknowledge the typical standards for notice they can consent to waive these requirements.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

UPDATED: Weber County Commissioners Make Plans to Carry $17 Million Bond for Pow Mow Private Developers Summit Group

Guest post by Shanna Francis

Weber County Commissioner Jan Zogmaister confirmed during a phone interview on March 22 that the county is considering floating a $17 million bond to help pay for infrastructure—water and roads—for the Summit Group’s proposed development at Powder Mountain.  In the interview, Zogmaister confirmed that Summit and the county have been discussing the matter for several months now, and are working on the details for the bond, such as how the bond would be repaid if Summit defaulted on payments, which Summit say they will make to cover the cost of the bond.  Zogmaister said the county and Summit are close to completing the details of an agreement, and, in a closed meeting planned for later in the day (at 1:30 p.m., March 22), the two groups and their attorneys (Weber County and Summit’s) were meeting.  When asked if members of the public could attend, she stated “no, it wasn’t for the public.”  When asked if, legally, the public could be kept from attending, she stated she didn’t know.
At the Weber County Commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday, March 26, Zogmaister said that passage of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding issue would be on their agenda. The meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. in the Commission Chambers in Ogden.
When Zogmaister was asked about input from the communityWeber County tax payers—regarding the Commissioner’s decision to carry the public debt for a private developer,Zogmaister explained that there are many types of bonds, and, in this case, the county can take on the bond debt without a public hearing or public input on the issue.

The county is also working on the details of carrying a bond for the Weber County Library system for updates and renovations.  For the library bonds, the county has to go through the public hearing process. 

Weber County taxpayers can express their approval or concern and disapproval at such county action by contacting the Commissioners at 801-399-8402.
Update March 24, 2013 @ 8am:

Our friends at the Weber County Forum provide more insight and the legalities behind the proposed secret Welfare bond here: 

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Canyon Update

Guest Post by Kathy Peterson

As you probably have noticed the signs telling you of the curfew times for canyon closures have been changed.  From now on (actually this has been the case all along) the construction crew does not work on Saturday nights and the canyon will be open all night.  Just spread the word that we can get a tiny bit of normalcy on Saturday nights and feel like grown-ups again by being allowed to stay out later than 10 pm.  Hopefully there will be a flagman at both lights to keep the ‘cheaters’ from running the lights and tying up traffic.  Have a great weekend and enjoy your Saturday night.  Oh, and please make the effort to go to the Oaks and Grey Cliff for dinner as often as you can.  They truly need our business.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Love Your Brain - Brain injury awareness presented by Summit and Powder Mountain.

Add caption
What: Free showing of "The Crash Reel", a documentary about snowboarder Kevin Pearce's recovery from a devastating brain injury. The film opened Sundance this year and is directed by two-time Academy Award nominee Lucy Walker.

When: Wednesday, March 13, 7pm.

Where: Pineview Lodge, Eden.

Why: This March, Summit and Powder Mountain will be promoting a brain injury awareness campaign called Love Your Brain, in partnership with snowboarder Kevin Pearce. Kevin was one of the world's top snowboarders until he suffered a devastating brain injury in the half pipe. Helmets greatly reduce the potential for brain injuries on the slopes. In addition to the film showing, on March 29-31 Powder Mountain will offer a $10 discount to anyone who is wearing a helmet and March 30, Kevin Pearce and the FRENDS crew will be hosting a rail jam at Sundown lift.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Ogden Canyon Waterline Project Alert

Ogden Canyon Waterline Project Alert:

We wanted to take an opportunity to correct a few misprints in the article titled,  “Water shut-off planned in canyon,” in this morning’s issue of the Ogden Standard Examiner.

·         SR-39 in Ogden Canyon will be temporarily closed to all traffic – including local traffic – beginning at 8:00pm Tuesday, March 5.  The canyon will remain closed until 5:00AM on Wednesday, March 6.
·         The second closure will occur Wednesday, March 6, with the usual closure beginning at 8:00pm, and a hard closure (closed to all traffic, including local traffic) from 10:00pm Wednesday night, to 5:00am on Thursday, March 7.
·         Between 4:00pm on Wednesday, March 6, and 8:00pm on Thursday, March 7, water will be shut off to ALL CANYON RESIDENTS.
·         During the 28-hour water shutoff, the main line will be drained and the second mile section of pipe will be isolated for replacement.  Residents in the construction zone of the second phase (which is approximately between Fairmount bridge and the Alaskan Inn) will be placed on temporary water for the duration of the second phase of construction.  However, this temporary water will not be available to residents until the water line is filled at 8:00pm on Thursday.
·         Canyon residents will not have access to potable water at the Ogden City Water Treatment facility or at other locations throughout the canyon.  Canyon residents should plan accordingly to ensure that their water needs are met during the 28-hour water shutoff.

For additional information about the closures and water shut-off, please visit the project website at

Best regards,

Jason M. Allen, P.E. Public Involvement
3544 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 11 | Ogden, Utah 84401