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Park City Council Agenda Includes, Affordable Housing, Dropping Library Fines, Landscaping

Park City Council is set to decide about the acquisition of four Oldtown parcels which could add to their stock of affordable housing.

That’s part of a long list of agenda items for the council’s regular meeting this afternoon.

As part of their work session, starting a little bit before 4:00 pm in council chambers, they’re looking back on a retreat earlier this year, where Mayor Andy Beerman asked council members to point to one accomplishment they’d like to work on during their tenure.

The staff is coming back with some of those items. City manager Diane Foster said one important topic is community engagement.

“Community liaison, ever since Craig Sanchez was at the city and he moved over from golf into sustainability it was really important that we have someone, boots on the ground who has a personal relationship with people on Main Street and can keep them informed about construction and that position grew. We’ve had kind of a mixed role there, we’re looking to make it full time.”

Foster said another item the city is excited to be working on involves opportunities for the developmentally disabled.

“Lucky Ones coffee shop, there is an update from them on the agenda.” Foster continued, “They’ve been hugely successful. In talking to the owners there, they actually can’t—there are no more hours that they can provide. They’ve maxed out and they’ve got more people who want to work there. One of the thoughts here and Nan Worrell has really been leading on all of this is can we create positions at the city for people with developmental disabilities? And what would that look like? We’re doing this one backwards. We’re first going to ask council ‘do you want to create these positions?’ Then we’re going to be creating some kind of advisory group of parents, people from this group to advise us. We’ve already collected from departments a number of jobs that could be done part-time for people with developmental disabilities. Then working with that advisory group on what do these actually look like? How do we provide support? What if someone’s having a tough day? Who do they call, how does that work?”

As part of council’s regular agenda, starting at 6:00 pm in council chambers, the panel will consider paying $1.75 million for four parcels on Norfolk. Foster said the purchase would serve affordable housing and historic preservation.

“What this will facilitate is additional growth of that Woodside Park phase two. So, we’ll be able to build more units with these particular lots. There is a home on one of them that is a historic home that the city will re-sale and that will actually raise funds.” Foster confirmed that the historic home has a pending demolition permit, “Because it’s so important to not lose structures, and there are historic structures that can get demolition permits, the city stepped in. The only thing we could do was buy it. So we actually meet two goals here our historic preservation and also being able to increase the size of the affordable housing development there.”

On another item the council gets an update on some contemplated code amendments dealing with water-wise landscaping, xeriscaping and gravel.

“Gravel is a great surface material for certain places.” Foster explained, “It’s actually really bad if its in the cities right-of-way. It’s bad for snowplow equipment, there’s lots of other things that’s not great about it so council was interested in moving forward with these.”

On their consent agenda, council will consider approving a new letter of consent for an inter-local agreement with the Snyderville Rec District on the ice arena.

Under the agreement, each party has contributed $50,000 for maintenance. Under the new agreement, $30,000 more from each side has been recommended. Foster noted that the city has put in that amount, but the Rec District, at this time, doesn’t have funding.

“For right now the Snyderville Basin has said they can’t fund an additional $30,000.” Foster said, “We’re saying its very important to renew the agreement, so we don’t lose the $50,000 annual funding. This is a facility and we’ve got a great agreement and great partnership with the Snyderville Basin Recreation District. This is one of those facilities that it’s a city facility, but we have more usage from the basin. Over time I think this is a piece we do hope that they’re able to budget for this and do an increase in the future.”

Finally, the council is being asked to repeal library book fines. Foster said there are several reasons for the proposal.

“Salt Lake and many other communities around the country have dropped their fines on library books for a couple of reasons.” Foster continued, “One, it doesn’t actually work. There are other things you can do such as send people reminders and eventually if someone doesn’t ever bring the book back, you’re going to have to pay for it. We spend in staff time, this year we’ll spend about $12,000 on fining people and following up and those kinds of things. We can reduce that cost significantly. We only make $6,000 on fines so it doesn’t make sense and it does prohibit people. There is research that shows that people of lower incomes, it’s a barrier. They don’t want to have another fee or risk that their kids are going to forget to return a book.”

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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