Utah Lake Commission Vice-Chairman, Lehi Mayor Bert Wilson
Utah Lake Commission Vice-Chairman, Lehi Mayor, Bert M. Wilson
A young 7-year-old boy moved from Roosevelt to Lehi, Utah, and he was introduced to Utah Lake through fishing for carp. He grew up loving Utah Lake and his hometown of Lehi. Almost three years ago, he was elected Mayor of Lehi, the town he loved. As mayor, he became Lehi’s representative on the Utah Lake Commission. As a young man “I did not know carp was a trash fish – I just enjoyed fishing for them at the Lake,” said Mayor Bert Wilson.
Mayor Wilson is the Vice-chair of the Utah Lake Governing Board. One of the ongoing projects of the Commission is removing millions of pounds of the carp that Mayor Wilson used to catch as a boy. Removing the carp is essential to improving the water quality and lake’s ecosystem, as well as benefiting efforts to help the June sucker, an endangered species endemic to Utah Lake. “We need to rid the Lake of carp to improve the viability and quality of the lake and June sucker survival,” he said.
He is an avid supporter of the Commission’s involvement in educating Utah’s students. The Commission completed the creation of a set of fourth and seventh grade lesson plans for students. “It is good for the students to know what is occurring so they can teach their parents,” he said.
Utah Lake is a regional natural resource and Lehi wants to be a player in the management decisions. Mayor Wilson stated, “It is much like roads and transportation, someone has to build them (improve the lake) for all to enjoy. People in the county, state, and out of state tourists will be using the lake. We want to participate with the positive direction the Commission is taking,” he stated.
According to the Master Plan, Utah Lake Commission has a high priority goal of removing invasive species (such as the carp). Another invasive is the noxious weed of phragmites. The Commission is working aggressively to remove phragmites around the shorelines, and Lehi supports the goal. “Reclaiming the beaches will enable everyone to observe the beauty of the lake from the shoreline. The lake should be enjoyable for all ages.” When the lake is restored, Lehi will be the location with a “room with a view.” Even though Lehi is short on shoreline property, they have developed the North Lake Park with soccer fields and they have plans to put additional amenities at that location for various groups.
People are moving to Utah County and love Utah Lake. Lehi is in an upswing with individuals wanting to move in and they want to welcome them to their city. New residents feel Lehi is a quality place with a values-style environment, and is a nice place to come home to. He believes Lehi is the best place to live on earth and articulates, “It is the closest place to heaven you can get on earth, and if people knew how great it is, they would change their lives to get here.”
“We are in a growth mode in every aspect, and it is challenging to keep up with it. We want to grow and develop in a smart way so in the future we will look back and see the forethought that went into making it all work for our generations to come.” Mayor Wilson is baiting the hook for major corporations looking at Lehi, the companies are nibbling, and Lehi wants to reel them in.
Lehi is progressing with planned economic evolution. Major corporations are looking at Lehi and the city fathers are trying to lure them in. At present, they host Costco, Lowes, Cabelas and high tech companies such as Adobe with 1600 new jobs, IM Flash, Micron, and Sirsidynix. Lehi has several large high-rise office buildings completed with some in construction and more in the planning stages.
A unique outlet/mall with nearly 60 stores in phase one recently opened near Cabelas. It is a mall/mix with the best drawing cards to meet everyone’s needs. The mall opened by the middle of November 2012 and was ready for “Black Friday” for all the holiday shoppers.
There are planned commercial improvements along Pioneer Crossing.
NSA near Camp Williams has attracted commercial tenants to the 2100 North Freeway area, along with residential, commercial, recreational, and transportation.
Mayor Wilson is in his first term. He has loved being mayor and he wants to serve for the right reasons. He does not consider himself a politician, even after being elected. “People in the city and county are good people and are working for the right reasons,” he declared. He hopes his greatest asset as mayor is his ability to unify the city and bring all sides to the table. “There are always different views and issues, but things are getting balanced out with communication.”
With all the advancement and changes implemented by Utah Lake Commission, Lehi has a lot to gain with a clean lake and they want to participate to assure it moves in a correct and forward direction. The population realizes the lake’s premium value and is excited to live nearby and be active consultants to its future.
“The lake is like wanting your favorite candy – you can look and salivate, but to really enjoy it — you need to have a piece of it.”
About the mayor: Mayor Wisons moved to Lehi at age seven from Roosevelt, Utah. He has been married to the former Taunya Turner for almost 41 years. They have four children (three boys and one girl) and 14 grandchildren (7 of boys/girls) His career led him into consumer money management. Currently, he is a partner in Aspen Mortgage Company, one of the oldest mortgage companies in Utah County, opening its doors in 1992. His family owns a cabin in Mt. Pleasant. As part of their family activities, they love to go there. He and his family enjoy ATV riding and it is common for them to take a 45 mile ride in one day. Another passion is golf. He claims he is a miserable golfer but he loves going out just to play. Mayor Wilson Loves Lehi , its people, and Utah Lake.