I would like to clarify a few points made in last week's article concerning water systems and development in Victor. I have been working on the design and development of Mountainside Village for 20 years. We have worked very hard over the years to champion smart growth and responsible development. The Master plan of Mountainside Village culminated a productive three year collaborative effort with the City of Victor. That Plan, which won the Idaho State Smart Growth Award, set aside over 45 acres of protected common and natural areas, established an organic farm and set a trend for placemaking that the City soon followed. Issues that are now being raised, including water systems, relative to undeveloped phases of Mountainside Village, were very well vetted during the initial 3 year review process. Regarding necessary water system improvements, Mountainside Village constructed a pump station to service initial phases and committed to make all improvements necessary to service the development. The higher elevation phases to the east will require some system upgrades. In July we presented multiple alternatives to the City of Victor for water system upgrades that will be necessary for future phases of Mountainside Village, all in line with improvement strategies that the City had already agreed to. It’s interesting that the proposals engineers are coming up with today are about the same as those included in the Master Plan. The physics has not changed.

Many don’t understand that it is typical for developers to fund infrastructure construction. That includes water, sewer and roads. There are strict financial guarantees put in place to assure performance. Cities also have the leverage to not issue certificates of completion or building permits until required upgrades are satisfied. A reference was made to a quid pro quo for water tank construction and phase 5 Approval. That is a mischaracterization in the sense that all infrastructure, including water pipes, fire hydrants, sewers, roads etc. would all be built by the developer as part of development and is in keeping with what we agreed to years ago.

We have been consistent for 16 years that we will abide by our founding Agreements with the City of Victor that we believe still chart the best path forward. Those state that, we will build all upgrades necessitated by Mountainside Village. Those upgrades may also service additional areas beyond MsV. We look forward to continued collaboration with Victor.

Larry Thal 

Wilson, WY