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Midway Mayor Outlines Next Steps For Open Space Bond

Pure Midway

After passing a $5 Million open space bond, the next six months will be busy for Midway City Council and staff.

Midway Mayor Celeste Johnson says there are two items to focus on during the next few months in order for the Midway open space bond to succeed. Step one is completing the bonding process.

“To get the bond money itself we are looking anywhere from 60-90 days. That would just be the process for saying hey financial institution we are ready to get this money and the process and the steps to have that happen will take approximately 60-90 days. The reason that could be important is that in order for us to get something on the tax statement this year we need to have that money in hand by June 15th.”

In addition to the bonding process the council will be sending out letters to all land owners in Midway informing them of the opportunity to preserve land.

“Which again they’re not selling their land. They’re only selling the right to develop the land. So, they still own their land, they still can sell it, they can still will it to their children. We’re very anxious to find out what land owners are interested and by the end of next month we hope those letters are all out. Once we see what kind of response we have, what kind of properties are available to us, then we’ll start that process as well.”

The council is also considering issuing an RFP for a consultant. Utah Open Lands and Summit Land Conservancy might be considered in that role.

“Those would probably the two that would respond to our RFP. So we just have to put an RFP out there as is typical process in the government world and those are the two groups that we hope would respond to that RFP.”

Mayor Johnson is hopeful that the $5 million bond will stretch to make a significant impact.

“I’m one of those people where the glass is half full. I like to think that we can leverage two to three times the value of the $5 million. I have great and grandiose dreams that we’re going to be able to acquire at least 100 acres.”

Mayor Johnson also recognized that since there was not a specific property in mind for the open space bond it places a lot of responsibility on the city council.

“It’s a little bit different than what you guys have done in Park City where you identified the property and then bonded for that specific property. The enormous amount of trust that the citizens of Midway have put into this process is not lost on us. We know that the process must be transparent. They need to have a voice in the property that we determine is eligible for purchase and we are putting steps and process in place for that.”

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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