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Summit County Acquires Florence Gillmor Parcel

The Summit County Council on Wednesday made a series of decisions leading to what they say is a monumental result.

The council approved a decree, negotiated with the EPA and other government agencies, for the acquisition of the Florence Gillmor parcel. County officials said the agreement will establish an important recreation Open Space corridor along Highway 40, and it settles any environmental obligations the county has for the Gillmor property, which sits on part of the Silver Creek watershed corridor of historic mine tailings.

County officials said they’ve been negotiating over the last six years on the property of some 461 acres, east of the Highway 40 frontage road, held by the Florence Gillmor Foundation and Estate.

The Council signed a purchase agreement a year ago with the Gillmors. The purchase was made for about $10.39 million, including over $7.5 million from open space bond funds held by the Snyderville Basin Recreation District and over $2.8 million from County general funds.

A public hearing called by Council Wednesday only brought out one comment, with local business Rory Murphy calling the plan “an amazing opportunity.”

The Recreation District Board was on hand. They voted an approval for what’s called the “Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent” with the EPA.

The Council also formally voted on the “AOC”, they approved Use Restrictions on the property, and okayed the final version of a Purchase Agreement with the Gillmors.

Out of the purchase price, the bulk of the money goes to the Gillmor Estate. The remainder, about $1.6 million, is paid to federal and state agencies to settle any environmental obligations on the Superfund Silver Creek corridor.

The Gillmor land will be owned and maintained for Open Space uses by the Recreation District—except for a parcel of about 125 acres, subdivided off to the county and adjacent to the frontage road. The so-called “Reserved Parcel” has been shown by a testing review to have clean soils. It can be developed for future civic uses, such as public works, a transit facility, affordable housing, recycling or a senior center.

The Open Space of some 336 acres, the Council said, will become the linchpin of a corridor, for recreationalists and wildlife, stretching from Silver Creek Village down to Round Valley.

County Manager Tom Fisher said final closing on the land could possibly take place this summer, and no later certainly than September.

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