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Park City Council Votes Unanimously To Donate $550,000 to Save Snow Ranch Pastures

Snow Ranch Pastures
Utah Open Lands

Park City Council voted to donate more than a half million dollars to the purchase of the 19-acre Snow Ranch Pasture, land conservation deal. The City donated $3 million last year after the Treasure Hill and Snow Ranch Pastures open space bond succeeded at the poles. On Friday, Utah Open Lands received an anonymous donation of $200,000. They have until the end of June to raise another $100,000.

Park City Council voted unanimously on Thursday to help preserve the land with a $550,000 donation. Executive Director of Utah Open Lands, Wendy Fisher  says they entered into an option agreement with the Armstrongs a couple of years ago.

“The conservation easement was appraised at $16 million. Those two sides of the families agreed to contribute $10 million. So, that’s 63 percent of the value. Again, huge, huge contribution to the community already. And then, we had to raise $6 million."

Last year, the Park City Council approved an open space bond initiative for $48 million to purchase the Treasure Hill parcel for preservation with $3 million designated to help conserve the Snow Ranch Pastures land located in Thayne’s Canyon.

“The Armstrong Snow Ranch Pastures was then included in the Treasure Hill, Armstrong Snow Ranch pastures bond that passed by 78% in November of 2018. But that left Utah Open Lands with $3 million left to raise. We have raised essentially $2 million of that.”

Park City Manager Diane Foster says due to the city’s triple A credit rating along with having a very successful bond sale, they have an extra 1 million dollars.

“Because of that bond rating and because of really, just a stunning sale that happened, we ended up with an incredible interest rate. And, also something called a bond premium. And Nate was able to reduce the amount of that bond by $1 million."

Foster says the $550,000 will cost taxpayers an additional $2.20 on a property valued at $800,000.

“The voters have authorized us to put up to $48 million towards this. We could still issue a $47.55 million bond. So, we could still issue a bond that is less than what we anticipated and donate $550,000 to close this gap.”

Park City Council member Becca Gerber told KPCW the support was overwhelming during the city council meeting on Thursday night.

She says the message from the community was loud and undisputed. You can find a link to the staff report and the recommendations on KPCW.org

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