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COVID Revenue Impacts Likely More Than $8.5 Million

 
The Park City Council meets electronically on Thursday. The agenda covers a discussion of the location of the Post Office on Main Street, COVID impacts on the budget and how-to bring customers back to Park City as social distancing orders ease.

A decade ago, Park City investigated moving the Post Office off Main Street. If that happens, remote gang boxes would have to be installed in areas around old town. Some residents have raised the issue again with council. Park City Manager Matt Dias says the issue of keeping a post office on Main Street relates to preserving the sense of community.

“Seeing your neighbor in terms of that post office kind of this vestige of small-town community. And so, the discussion that we are likely to have won't be anything to the extent of whether or not we're going to have a post office on Main Street. At least to my knowledge it's more about do we want to loosen in our regulations in Old Town in the historic district, to allow for some gang boxes.”

Economic impacts of COVID-19 are projected to be more than $8.5 Million mostly due to loss in sales tax revenue for the next fiscal year, which begins in July. The current revenue shortfall this year will be about $4 million. Dias says there is uncertainty in projecting next year’s revenue and they’re not ready to slash budgets without carefully identifying essential services.  He says the deficit may exceed the $8 Million. He thinks the city will be able to forecast better in 60 to 90 days.

“And we felt like it would be Imprudent to sort of come in too early in the system and make drastic cuts before we really got a better sense of the economic recovery or stabilization that we're about to enter. Sales taxes have become well over a third of our total revenue.”

Dias says there won’t be impacts to public safety, but non- essential services will be affected. 
Main Street outdoor dining will be allowed, provided restaurants can comply with the Governor’s new safety and stabilization orders. Council may expand the current limit of 12 outdoor dining permits for Main Street.  Dias hopes they can ease some of the city provisions to help businesses get up and running.

“We are making a recommendation to the council for their consideration to provide more latitude when it comes to the dining spaces.  I think right now we're recommending relieving the restaurant or business owner of having to pay any parking fees for the use of that parking stall, for the business license for that dining deck. More entertaining. Relieving some of the provisions that they have to serve a lunch and a dinner seven days a week.”

Parking fees in Old Town have been suspended since the middle of March. Until business returns, Dias says they will remain in effect.

The council meets electronically on Thursday. Go to parkcity.org, click on the meetings tab on the right and the instructions to join will be posted.
 

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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