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Summit Land Conservancy Is $500K Closer To The Osguthorpe Conservation Easement

Summit Land Conservancy

The Summit Land Conservancy announced progress to fund the purchase of the Osguthorpe Farm Conservation Easement.  The Snyderville Basin Recreation Board will contribute to the open space preservation effort of what some are calling the last farm on Old Ranch Road.  Carolyn Murray has this:

Basin Recreation is contributing $500,000 dollars toward the preservation efforts. Summit Land Conservancy Executive Director, Cheryl Fox said the land will have public access for winter recreation.

“What is now on the table is winter recreational access inside the fence. So, we had tried some different iterations and different options so that again, the community could have some feet on the ground recreational benefit that would be balanced with the agricultural benefit. So, this is finally where we’re settling.

Summit Land has a couple of fund-raising events underway. They’re hoping to meet a $150,000-dollar matching grant with donations through October. She said they need to raise $1 million dollars more by the end of February. 

“We will still have over a million dollars to raise. So we have two campaigns going on. The one I’d like to talk about today is the 158 campaign. So, it’s a hundred and fifty-eight acres and we are hoping that people will donate one dollar for every acre. So, that’s $158-dollar donation. We do have an opportunity drawing we’re running right now and people will be able to win a cross country ski package, gear, from White Pine Touring. And, we also have a matching grant so people’s $158.00-dollars is doubled.”

Summit Land Conservancy is holding neighborhood meetings promoting the Treasure Hill Open Space Bond. Fox said so far, it’s been productive.

“What I find with these open houses is people come with really good questions and when we’re able to answer them, they say yes…they go away and say yeah, I am going to vote for this bond.  You know this has been a 30-year process, the Treasure Development. And, we have all three of Park city’s past mayors think that this bond is a good idea. For 30-years, people have tried to figure out how to accommodate the existing entitlements on that mountainside.

An editorial recently accused Park City leaders of misrepresenting the true cost to tax payers suggesting the $48 million-dollar bond does not include interest. Fox said the City isn’t trying to hide anything.

“When you buy a house, you pay $250-thousand for your house but there are interest costs. So, the costs of purchase here is the $64 million-dollars. And, then there are some financing costs. The average home is going to be asked to pay 194-dollars per year. And, that’s the total payment. That’s principal and interest. So, there’s not a $194-dollars plus some other hidden cost.”

Fox said the size and scope of the Treasure Development, if it goes in, would have an ongoing cost to the community whereas the bond would be paid off in 16 years.

"The long and the short of it is, this development would be massive. It would loom over Park City’s Old Town. It would take six to 10 years of massive construction vehicles rumbling in and out of townon our streets, past our schools, down Park Avenue. It doesn’t matter how big it is, it’s huge and that’s really the ultimate decision that people face.”

The Bond language is available on the Summit County website. The debt service on the bond will be paid over a 16-year period.  A primary home valued at $800,000-dollars would pay about $194-dollars per year. A business of the same value would pay $353-dollars per year.

On October 9th, the Patagonia store on Main Street is holding a fund-raising event for the Summit Land Conservancy. Details can be found on wesaveland.org.

Utah Open Lands is holding a fundraiser on Friday for the Armstrong Snow Ranch Pastures open space. Go to utahopenlands.org to sign up for Friday’s event. 


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