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Park City Council Will Discuss Recession Plan, After Analysis Shows Nearly $4 Million Shortfall

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The Park City Council meets Thursday for a last-minute discussion on the city’s economic status during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The next city council meeting was scheduled for April 16, but Park City Manager Matt Dias says the council needs to be briefed on two important items sooner than later – and the public needs to hear from councilmembers.

“The last thing we want to do is pull together a lot of people online for a bunch of benign items, or items that aren’t really mission-critical,” Dias said. “At the same time, people get a little uneasy, I think, when they’re not hearing from us regularly, so we did not have it scheduled.”

The first item on the agenda is a look at the city’s recession plan. Like many cities, Dias says Park City has been seriously impacted by the closure of business due to the COVID-19 outbreak and measures to control the spread. Dias says the city plans to use three different budgeting tools — reducing operational expenditures; delaying non-essential capital projects; and using emergency reserves — to fill in the gaps by the time the fiscal year ends.

“Between today and June 30, we need to implement, and have been implementing, all sorts of operational controls, deferring and delaying capital projects, to ensure that we close a roughly $4 million shortfall by the end of the year,” Dias said.

The council will also consider approving a resolution to extend the city’s emergency declaration, which Dias initially made on March 12. The resolution also ratifies other emergency actions Dias has taken, such as allowing the Park City Ice Arena parking lot to be used as a COVID-19 testing site and extending building permit and plat amendment expiration dates. The Summit County Health Department recently extended its public health order to May 1, and Dias says the city wants to align its response with the county’s.

“I have the authority to make an emergency declaration as the city manager, and the mayor has the authority, for a 30-day period, and we had made that early in March,” Dias said. “So, now it’s time to update that declaration to make sure it’s concurrent with Summit County’s existing health order.”

The Park City Council meeting starts Thursday at 4:45 p.m. and will be streamed on parkcity.org as well as on the city’s Facebook page. The public can submit comments during the meeting through a link on the city’s website.

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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