As we enter into the weekend, we'll temporarily put the Powder Mountain story to rest, until at least next week. Before we do that however, we'd like to inform our readers about several budding developments which have come to our attention since our last WCF posting on this subject:
1) Regarding the pendency of Rep. Froerer's HB 218, we received this voice message from Senator Allen Christen, the bill's Senate sponsor, which indeed confirms that the Powder Mountain Developer and the County Commission seem to be on the verge of a settlement deal:
The bill [HB 218] is stalled in committee. It's not dead; it's not gone. But we have at least temporarily,we have a letter from the developer saying that they will stand down, not try to to incorporate, run everything back through the planning commission, and essentially do the same thing. They just don't want to have this done to them. I've seen the letter; the Commissioners still have to agree to it, and if that's amenable to them, then everybody's going to back off, and hopefully let this thing go away.We subsequently spoke with Senator Christensen by phone, who further confirmed, to our considerable initial disappointment, that despite its offer to "stand down," the Powder Mountain Developer has unfortunately not yet offered to permanently relinquish its right to later resume its action for Powder Mountain Town incorporation. Inasmuch as we've as yet been unable to obtain an electronic copy of this letter, we'll thus offer no commentary on whatever substantive terms may be contained therein.
2) We've been informed by a reliable source that the Weber County Commission had at some recent point set a public hearing for March 16, to discuss a mysterious "Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU), but that this hearing has now been taken off-calender. Presumably it'll be returned to the calender for public hearing, once Commission and Developer legal eagles have dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's.
3) We've also been informed by several independent sources, gentle reader Laura among them, that Senate Government Ops Committee members McAdam and Robles have responded to lumpencitizen persuasion, and are prepared to vote in favor of recommending that HB 218 be advanced to the Senate floor for deliberation and debate, in the event that the committee would re-convene to re-consider the matter. Of course that's all hearsay; so take it for what it's worth.
4) We also had a short conversation with Rep. Froerer late yesterday afternoon, wherein he reconfirmed that he remains ready to "pull the trigger" and continue, if necessary, to push his bill forward for a full Senate vote. In this context however he also offered the cautionary admonition that a sizable number of the key players in this battle, including some litigants in the Powder Mountain citizens lawsuit, are expressing concern about throwing the bill in front of the Senate, where strong opposition forces continue to oppose HB 218. Rather than taking the risk of a Senate "crapshoot," an influential faction of the prospective "Powderville" residents are therefore apparently leaning in favor of the "negotiated" settlement, an outcome which indeed appears to be in the works.
5) Last but not least, Ogden Valley Forum has an interesting guest commentary up on its blogsite this morning, speaking to the issue of the continuing "back room" negotiations. We accordingly invite all interested WCF readers to take a look:
"Powderville" problem will never be permanently solved until the Powder Mountain Town Incorporation issue is unequivocally and irrevocably taken off the table, we'll nevertheless resist the temptation to forcefully editorialize on this point this morning, but instead defer, at least for the time being, to the hopefully sound judgment of those parties who are far more intimately involved in the negotiations than we.
"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," as the old saying goes. So we'll recognize the possible wisdom in this old folk ax, cool our jets at this juncture and wait to see how it all shakes out in the days to come. The very last thing we'd like to see at this stage of this exceedingly fragile existing situation, would be to find ourselves being blamed for throwing a wrench into the works.
And what say our gentle readers about all this?