The Wasatch County Council stepped back from its original position of offering no financial support to the groups who are raising funds to purchase the Bonanza Flats area of Wasatch County. The organizers have until June 15 to raise an additional $3 million to purchase the property and create a conservation easement keeping Bonanza Flats as open space.
In last Wednesday’s Wasatch County Council meeting, Councilman Danny Goode proposed a $10,000 - $50,000 donation to the group organizing the purchase, to help show Wasatch County’s commitment to preserving open space. While addressing the Council, Goode said, “I have lived in the most rapidly growing county in Texas. As development after development came through, residents asked what was [the growth] for - what do we have to leave for future generations?”
Goode cited Wasatch County’s Vision of maintaining open space as a priority of the Council. “We have done much to protect open space. But more can be done. Protecting this open space aligns with [the County’s] Purpose which states ‘Through thoughtful planning and zoning, that manages the impacts of growth, The County strives to balance the preservation of the area's highly valued rural and agricultural character with the promotion of clean and sustainable economic, residential, recreational, and tourism development opportunities. I think that $10,000 IS a lot of money and should not be trivialized. [That amount] would just be following what Midway has already donated in support of Open Space.’”
Councilman Steve Farrell commented, “We can’t donate the $3 million deficit, but I think [Wasatch County] could show a token of support. I think we should do something and this is a good step to show support. This sets a precedence that we support open space.”
Councilman Mark Nelson said if the Council considers making a donation, he wants conditions placed on the purchase such as water rights staying with Wasatch County. Councilman Spencer Park also commented that the new owner needs to allow some motorized access on the property.
Following the discussion, Councilman Farrell motioned to donate $25,000 with the condition that Wasatch County has voice in creation of the conservation easement.
The vote passed, with Councilman Mike Pedersen being the only vote against.
Councilmen Kendall Crittenden and Greg McPhie were excused from the meeting.