Budget, Affordable Housing Options, and Arts and Culture District on Tap at Thursday’s City Council
City council in Park City has a lengthy agenda for their regular meeting on Thursday. Items up for discussion include next year’s budget, affordable housing, the arts and culture district, and officially recognizing June as Pride Month in Park City.
Starting just after 3:00pm, the council will devote the first hour to review the budget for fiscal year 2022. A preliminary version of the budget was approved earlier in May, but talks will run over the next several weeks before final approval in late June.
The council will also review the official March sales tax report from the Utah Tax Commission. The news is good, with the city significantly outperforming its five-year average and pulling in 67% more than last March, which corresponds with the first of the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Deputy City Manager David Everitt said the numbers are encouraging and go a long way towards the city’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
“It looks like a substantial increase year-over-year, which it is, but it gets us a little more back in line with where we were in 2019 prior to COVID,” said Everitt.
The city plans to continue $25 million in affordable housing projects throughout the city and Everitt said depending on the direction council gives city staff on Thursday, there could be several housing projects happening in Park City simultaneously.
“That $25 million dollars plus-plus is money that’s been in existence, in the city’s hands for a while, but we’re finally, I think, getting ready to really allocate them into budgets to then get that money in the ground and spend it,” Everitt said. “You know, if things stay on track, we could be building two to three of those housing projects here in the ground in the next two to three years.”
In conjunction with the budget talks, the council will also hold a work session on various parcels of city-owned land, like the Clark Ranch and Sommer Property, to explore whether a portion of them could be viable sites for future affordable housing projects.
Everitt said no decisions have been made about the future of those parcels and this discussion is merely to determine whether or not there is an interest from the council and the public for a move in that direction.
“This step the city is taking, though, is not to say, ‘hey, we’re definitely doing housing there,’ right?” He said. “This is about a more in-depth analysis, doing some entitlement work to see if it really makes sense and being very deliberative about which of these, if any, or if all, of those three parcels that are under consideration would be a good place to put affordable housing.”
The last work session on the agenda will revisit the financial plan for the proposed arts and culture district at the corner of Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive.
City staff will be presenting a project plan that would cost the city just over $65 million. That price does not include the $19.5 million the city paid for the land in 2017, but is far lower than the initial all-in price tag of roughly $108 million.
According to Everitt, city staff was able to cut the costs of building the on-site housing in half by using more affordable building materials, creative floor plans, and building housing on top of other structures that are already part of the plans.
“The council was pretty clear with us, like, ‘that does not work for us,’ and so we backed out of that approach and really took another angle and said, ‘look, if we’re going to be building parking and we’re going to be building a plaza and sidewalks and doing all these great things there, then let’s leverage that to put housing on top of it,’ basically,” he explained. “We’re basically saying there’s going to be all these costs that are going to be there no matter what, so let’s add the housing, but don’t charge the housing for the costs that were going to be there anyway.”
The council will also be recognizing retiring Summit County Health Director Rich Bullough, as well as the staff of the Park City School District for their efforts during the pandemic.
Additionally, the council will consider a resolution officially proclaiming June 2021 as Pride Month in Park City.
Thursday’s meeting will be held virtually and begins at 3:15pm.
A link to the full agenda and information can be found here.
Information on how to participate can be found here.