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Coalville, UT (July 20, 2018) – Summit County’s work in environmental stewardship has been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). County Council Vice-Chair, Roger Armstrong accepted the award on behalf of the County at the NaCo Annual Conference and Exposition in Nashville, Tennessee July 13-16 and officially presented it to the County during Wednesday’s County Council meeting. The award honors innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents. Summit County received “Best in Category” under County Resiliency: Infrastructure, Energy and Sustainability for its program titled “Environmental Stewardship Collaborative,” an interdepartmental workgroup tasked with developing a Strategic Implementation Plan to advance environmental stewardship.
“Environmental stewardship is a broad topic that requires contributions from all departments,” Summit County Manager Tom Fisher said. “I am proud of staff’s initiative to convene this workgroup and the fact that they have been nationally recognized for it. This program established the mechanism that will help Council prioritize services and spending toward achievement of their goals and share that information with residents.”
The achievement award is a result of Summit County Council adopting a resolution that established Summit County as the third county in the United States to establish a goal to transition to 100% renewable electrical energy by 2032. Resolution 2017-16 includes aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets: 80% below the 2016 level by 2040 for county operations and a countywide emissions reduction of 80% below their 2014 level by 2050.
Following the resolution, staff formed the Environmental Stewardship Collaborative program, The plan identifies specific objectives and metrics that are posted on the County’s internal website using easy-to-read charts and graphs. The Environmental Stewardship Collaborative program provides Council, residents, and staff with knowledge of progress made toward maintaining the quality of life so important to the residents and businesses in Summit County, Utah.
“We recognized the need to improve communication between departments who contribute to environmental stewardship, County Council and residents so that everyone is aware of the groundbreaking work that’s being done in our county,” said Lisa Yoder, Summit County Sustainability Program Manager.
Also in Nashville, Summit County was applauded by the Center for Digital Government (CDG) and NACo for innovative technology practices, earning an 8th place award in the “Up to 150,000 Population” category. Winners of the 15th annual Digital Counties Survey are recognized for initiatives that streamline delivery of government services, encourage open data, collaboration and shared services, enhance cybersecurity and contribute to disaster response and recovery efforts.
“Innovative counties are utilizing technology and data to better inform and protect themselves and their citizens, to save taxpayer money and to provide a better citizen experience,” said Teri Takai, executive director, CDG. “The Center for Digital Government congratulates this year’s winners for all the efforts they are making to improve the lives of their residents and others.”
“Summit County has made advancements in training county employees on cybersecurity awareness and mobile field inspections. The County is also using technology in many aspects of the county strategic plan, whether it is with transportation issues or mental health awareness campaigns, to providing technology for public use at county libraries,” said Ron Boyer, Summit County IT Director. “We are honored to be recognized for the fourth year in a row.”
Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received. In 2018, NACo recognized 615 entries from 116 counties and state associations in 29 states.
About Summit County:Located in the northeast corner of Utah along the Wasatch Back, Summit County is home to more than 41,000 residents. Created in 1854, Summit County was named for the summits of the mountains, including 39 of the highest mountain peaks in Utah. Six municipalities make up Summit County, including Coalville, Francis, Henefer, Kamas, Oakley and Park City. The county seat is quiet, scenic Coalville, located on the I-80 corridor. For more information visit www.summitcounty.org.
About National Assocation of Counties (NACo) The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites America’s 3,069 county governments. Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government and exercise exemplary leadership in public service. Learn more at www.naco.org.
Media Contact:Krachel MurdockCommunity and Public Affairs(435) 336-3044