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Park City Council Gathering Public Input On Senior Center Relocation

KPCW Radio

Park City officials held a virtual public input meeting, with 60 in attendance, to discuss the city’s proposal to build a new senior center on a parcel of land in City Park.


Another virtual meeting is planned for Tuesday at 9 a.m. as a "Coffee With The Council" stream on the city's Facebook page.


Park City Mayor Andy Beerman says the city is committed to a permanent home for the seniors. They’ve set aside nearly $2 million to build a new facility which he said is proof of their commitment. The city plans to build the second phase of the Woodside affordable housing project in the current senior center location on Woodside Avenue. The new senior center building would be owned by the city and leased to the seniors. Beerman says the plans are not set in stone. 


“There have been discussions for almost a decade about the desire of the seniors to have more space for more programming and the growing senior needs in our community,” Beerman said. “So, we've been looking for solutions. A few months ago, we settled on a potential project and location that I know we're really excited about. We think it takes all the feedback we've gotten over the years and address nearly all of that. It's on the transit line. It's central. It's got lots of parking. It's near the library. It's going to very much feel like you're in the heart of Park City and part of Park City. We're building this for the foreseeable future for the seniors.”


Beerman says the new facility would be slightly larger but with more functional space than the existing building. 


Park City councilor Nann Worel says the conversation about the new center was started the same week that COVID-19 caused the shutdown of Summit County. 


“So, we haven’t had the opportunity to have this conversation with all of the membership of the Senior Center as well as with other seniors in the community that maybe don't use the current Senior Center, but would if the new center had different amenities or offered a different kind of program,” Worel said. 


Former Summit County and Park City councilor Sally Cousins Elliot says she is happy to hear the city will offer usage of the building for as long as needed. 


“Is an amazing bit of largesse on the part of the city--willing to build a brand new building for the use of the seniors,” she said. “And most of the people who participate in senior activities live outside the city limits. I think you're to be commended.”


Another former city councilor Liza Simpson, says she supports a senior center that has flex space to accommodate multiple interests. 


“I honestly think that is the wisest and best use of taxpayer money,” Simpson said. “I fully support what you guys have planned and I look forward to being actively engaged in future conversations about this.”


Area resident Lisa Plane says using existing green space is not a good message and she asks the city to get a parking waiver to use the existing parking lot to accommodate the new senior center. 


“I feel like it’s a really dangerous precedent we’re setting by taking green space from an existing park, when if we could get that parking waiver and put the footprint onto the existing asphalt, we're all going to be better off for it,” she said. “And we think that seniors will be fabulous neighbors and I am excited to have that nearby. If we start setting precedent where we're going to mow down green space when we just spent $102 million dollars to preserve Treasure and Bonanza Flat, I think it's sending a message to the town that anything goes.”


Park City economic development manager Jonathan Weidenhamer says the city could begin construction as soon as spring of 2021 and be ready to move in by the fall. Under that scenario, he says the transition would be seamless with no downtime between access from the old center to the new one.

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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