Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, said he is sponsoring a bill that would allow Sandy to annex Snowbird Ski resort away from the jurisdiction of Salt Lake County because of the mean and nasty taxes and fees imposed by that mean and nasty Democrat, Mayor Peter Corroon.
If Bramble lived in a community so poorly treated, he would look to the heroic Utah Legislature for help, too, the senator told The Salt Lake Tribune recently.
And Snowbird general manager Bob Bonar told The Tribune that its temptation to be rescued by Sandy has nothing to do with future development, or zoning issues, but the desire to be under "an efficient, cost-effective government for our area."
However, even though I dislike the public safety fees from the County, using them as a basis for leaving doesn't exactly hold melted snow:
Cities are permitted by the Legislature to impose a utility franchise tax on its residents. The unincorporated county is not permitted to do that. So by moving to Sandy, Snowbird would be saddled with a new tax that would be more than the new $120,000 law enforcement protection fee being imposed by Salt Lake County, which both Bonar and Bramble cited as a reason for the move.
So, why does Snowbird really want to leave the county?
Bramble's bill was filed three days after Bonar met with Salt Lake County Council members Randy Horiuchi and Joe Hatch in which he asked for their support for Snowbird's plans to build a chairlift linking Hidden Peak to American Fork Twin Peaks. Hatch told me the meeting was "truly bizarre."
The problem is that the planned lift would drop skiers off right next to White Fork Canyon, an environmentally sensitive piece of Forest Service land that is being considered for wilderness study area designation.
Hatch said when he and Horiuchi didn't commit to Bonar's request, Bonar was miffed. A few days before the Horiuchi/Hatch meeting, Bonar met with Corroon, who also failed to do back-flips over the proposal.
And if you are a developer and get turned down by Randy Horiuchi, your plan must really suck. Either that or that's one developer that failed to donate to Randy's campaign.
And, of course, because Bramble is involved, a certain lobbyist isn't far behind:
Lobbyist Paul Rogers lists both Snowbird and Sandy as his clients. Rogers and Bramble are known by Capitol Hill observers to be extremely tight, with their families having vacationed in Europe together.