Thursday, August 29, 2013

Standard-Examiner: $17M Powder Mountain Project Could Hit Taxpayers (For $Millions)

Our apologies to our Gentle Readers for "slipping up" on this

Kudos to the Standard-Examiner for putting the spotlight on this distressing news, which comes on the heels of the Weber County Commission's approval on Tuesday (8/20/13) of a $17 million bond that will enable Summit Mountain Holding Group to use loaned money for its planned road, water and sewer improvements to the Powder Mountain Ski Resort.  Although we'd been following this story here on Weber County Forum, we confess this "surprise" element does "throw us for a loop":
OGDEN — Weber County and the Summit Group have made a great show of solidarity about the Powder Mountain project, but all of the positive implications of a new-and-improved ski resort may be hiding the heavy financial implications of the county borrowing $17 million and giving Summit 20 years to pay it back.
According to Dan Olsen, comptroller of Weber County, Summit is supposed to pay back the bond over a 20-year period, but terms of the deal do not obligate Summit to even begin paying back any of that money until two years from now.
“We borrowed enough money so that Weber County can make the bond payments for the first two years. Summit is actually on the hook for 18 years of the 20, which is how it works with a capitalized interest investment,” Olsen said. [Emphasis added].
Read this morning's full Mikayla Beyer story here:
That's right, folks. The very day we were obsessing over Ogden City water and sewer bonding, our Weber County Commission "quietly" slipped this shameless and grotesque exhibition of corporate welfare right past us. According to this morning''s story, "...the county, not Summit, will be making payments of just over $1.5 million for the next few years."

Weber County Comptroller Dan Wilson blithely assures Weber County taxpayers "[that's] how it works with a capitalized interest investment,” a statement which is flat-out untrue. In truth, every dime of bond payment obligation could have been, and ought to have been passed straight through to the ultimate beneficiaries of Weber County corporate largesse, the Summit Group. Gotta hand it to these "sharp" Summit Group "operators," however, for quietly engineering this unbelievable "sweetheart deal."

Our apologies to our Gentle Readers for slipping up on this. Henceforth we pledge to follow our heretofore financially-prudent Weber County Commission with a greatly renewed vigor.

Nobody's perfect, we guess.  Not even us.


RM said...

Haven't any of these financial wizards figured out that they are going to bleed the taxpayers dry?

rudizink said...

The most important thing, I guess, is that they don't bleed their corporate campaign donors dry.

James said...

county owes virtually no funds. Right now we only have one bond that
is nearly paid off at the county level. That will change when they
issue for the libraries and this will then make 2. All of the increase
in taxes is the bleeding we are suffering from bonds under the school
district and the City from Godfrey rebuilding everything he could.

rudizink said...

The Commission's been extremely frugal with taxpayer monies... until now. That's why I'll be upping my Commission scrutiny from here on out.

Former Powder Mountain Skier said...

At the bond approval meeting, commissioner Zogmaister actually bragged about the county getting ownership of what was the old Condo Road and the new road into the Summit Eden Phase I development.

Has she seriously considered what this means to Weber County taxpayers?? Having county equipment travel up 4000 vertical feet to plow a road which dead-ends and services only Summit Group property is well, for a better word, STUPID. (discounting Powder Ridge who will also save a bundle by not having to plow and maintain the Condo Road)

We are talking about coming up the state maintained access road to plow a road that is in excess of 8000 feet in elevation, gets up to 500 inches of snow annually , has mountain top winds in excess of 50 mph which can close the road in minutes, is often subject to zero visibility whiteouts and can get snow eight months of the year.

This is to say nothing of of maintaining the road surface which is subject to weather related and plow related damage. Additionally, either a county plow will have to be based at the mountain in the winter, or the state will have to be contracted to plow the road as a continuation of what they already do or plowing frequency for the valley will be decreased if the number of plows stays the same.

Shame on the county commission for agreeing to this one-sided arrangement with the Summit Group and "a pox on 'em" for burying any public questioning and deliberation until county taxpayers were on the hook.

At the same meeting, the Standard-Examiner article reported that the Summit Group representative "praised the county for its generosity...". I think that speaks volumes about the relationship between the county commissioners and Summit as well as how they regard the Weber County taxpayers.

Give 'em hell Rudi---they deserve it.

Conservative Repubs Really? said...

How can our commissioners say with a straight face that they are fiscally conservative? What a bunch of morons. Way to go citizens. Way to keep voting in the same old cronies and tards.

rudizink said...

Gotta say I've
always been suspicious of Commissioner Gibson's "fiscal conservative"
"bona fides." He held his first campaign fundraiser at Godfrey's "money
pit" (the Junction) as you'll no doubt recall. As for the "other two?" Go figure.

blackrulon said...

The Summit Group/Powder Mountain talks big and drops lots of important names in talking about their project. But so far the only entity putting up money is Weber County and the taxpayers

hot air said...

And a few suckuuuus

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