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Park City Non-Profits Combine Forces To Advertise In Favor Of $48 Million-Dollar Open Space Bond

Park City Municipal Corporation

The Summit Land Conservancy has advocated for the Treasure Hill Open Space Bond throughout this election season. A handful of Park City 501 C-3 organizations joined forces to endorse the $48 million-dollar bond through an advertising campaign. Carolyn Murray has this:

Most of the 48 million dollars will be spent to buy out the Treasure Hill development. The proposed project has been discussed and debated for more than three decades. The total cost to Park City is $64 million dollars.

Three million of the 48-million-dollar Treasure Bond will go towards preserving the Snow Ranch Pastures agricultural land owned by the Armstrong Family. It’s located at the base of Thayne’s Canyon.

Utah Open Lands, Mountain Trails Foundation, the Treasure Hill Impact Neighborhood Coalition, known as THINC, have combined forces and finances to advocate in favor of the bond.

Summit Land Conservancy Executive Director, Cheryl Fox said there are federal spending limits in place for non-profits to do a certain amount of advocacy and lobbying. Fox said it really does make a difference when they talk to officials in Washington.

“The Summit Land Conservancy, in order we stay within the legal limits of how much we can spend on lobbying has a special election with the IRS and it determines how much money you can spend. And, we are always at zero or well, well below that percentage limit. All of the other non-profits...you know we all joined together with volunteers and you know it’s just sort of a loose group of community members who decided that they just really wanted to help people understand what the bond was all about and get the word out about it. We did decide to put some ads in the paper. We did decide to do some flyers. We did a lot of yard signs and things like that, so the organizations all came to the table and kind of all participated.”

They’re not treated like a candidate running for office, so they’re not required to publish financial disclosures. Fox said individuals and organizations pooled resources to promote the facts about the Treasure Hill Open Space bond.

“I have to say that this whole process as always, has been inspirational, patriotically inspirational. I am impressed with the community in Park City. For the most part, the conversations were very civil. People had real questions. They were able to get real answers. I saw a lot of people who wanted to be informed voters. And, they came, well we had, I don’t’ know, 12 or 15, 16 different open houses. You know, went to meet with different groups just to explain what was going on with this. And like I said, it was civil, it was interested, it was people who really wanted to make good decisions."

In other open space projects, Fox said the County Council will decide about helping fund the Osguthorpe Farm Conservation Easement purchase. The grant agreement is expected to be approved in the November 8th council meeting.  Fox said the grant would be about a half million dollars and the Osguthorpe Family has signed off on the deal.

“There’s a couple of other things in play and the County recognizes that an agricultural easement will be going on the property. They are supportive of that. And, you know, of course they want to make sure that the dollars that they put into this are a good thing for their constituents. So, there are some points in the grant agreement that guarantees that those benefits to the Snyderville Basin Community will be guaranteed."

Fox said they are still short a million dollars and they have a campaign underway now that includes a matching grant.

“We do have a matching grant for that, so all the money is doubled. The reason we call it a 158 campaign is becuase4 it’s 158 acres, so we’re asking people to donate 158 dollars which is one dollar for every acre of the farm. And, like I said, that gets doubled because of the matching grant. And, people are entered to win a cross-country ski package donated by White Pine Touring that includes skis, boots, poles and passes."

Fox said no donation is necessary to win the ski package. Just send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Summit Land Conservancy to be entered in the drawing.  

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