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After Decades Of Dispute, Park City Closes On Treasure Hill Bond

The first phase of the Treasure open space wild fire mitigation work is nearly complete.
The first phase of the Treasure open space wild fire mitigation work is nearly complete.

Park City Attorney Mark Harrington made a special announcement at Thursday’s City Council meeting.

“So, as of yesterday, March 20, the city is proud owner of a little parcel in Old Town called Treasure Hill.”

Voters approved the $48 million Treasure Hill and Armstrong/Snow Ranch Pasture open space bond in November 2018, with $45 million of that designated for the purchase of Treasure Hill. Harrington says Budget Manager Nate Rockwood and the Park City Budget Department secured the bond financing on February 20, at a 2.43% interest rate.

Brian Van Hecke, co-founder of the Treasure Hill Impact Neighborhood Coalition, says he’s excited to keep the hill open to the public to appreciate the trails, the wildlife and the trees.

“You see pictures of Old Town and pictures of Park City—it's Treasure Hill that you see in the backdrop and in the background," Van Hecke said. "That's the landmark hill that is kind of iconic, so just preserving as open space—knowing that it will never be excavated as planned and everything will be preserved intact—I think it's just a wonderful thing for everybody.”

Mayor Andy Beerman says the Planning Department will begin rezoning the property as open space, and it could take up to two years to secure a conservation easement for the hill. At the Council meeting, Beerman thanked the city staff, former Mayor Jack Thomas and Teri Orr, and also the Sweeney family for their willingness to go forward with the deal.

“Most of all, I’ve got to thank the community for stepping up and making this a reality, so thank you everyone," Beerman said. "This is a big day for Park City, to put this behind us and enjoy the hill just like it looks today, forever.”

Beerman says the city will host a formal celebration on the hill when the snow melts.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.
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