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Schedule For High Valley District Bus Headquarters Delayed For The Winter

Meeting on Monday, the members of the High Valley Transit District Board heard from their Executive Director that construction of their permanent bus barn will be delayed. 

The High Valley District, serving primarily the Snyderville Basin, has launched in the past six months.    And it is looking to build its own transit facilities, after several years when Basin buses partnered in using Park City’s headquarters.

Executive Director Caroline Rodriguez said Monday they were hoping that by this winter, they could construct a bus barn on the county’s property along the Highway 40 frontage road (known as the Gilmor parcel, after the former owner.)

“After two months of trying to work within that time line, but also not to cut corners, we’ve decided that we’re putting a pause on getting into a building for the winter.  And instead we are gonna enter the building/programming process as part of the larger Gilmor master planning process with the county.”

She said there were a couple of reasons for the delay.      

“The cost kept spiraling up and out of control.  And without doing the extensive background work, I was not comfortable moving forward with the estimated cost of the building and facility.  Number two, taking a pause and looking at the transit building in the larger context of the Gilmor parcel made a lot more sense, especially because we had always had a Plan B for winter at Ecker and we feel like we’re in a good position to do that.  And we’re prepared to spend the winter at the Ecker location.”

Rodriguez said their Plan B for this winter will be to continue using their temporary bus headquarters at the Ecker Hill park n ride lot.

She said the timeline for the permanent bus barn will be reviewed in the next few weeks.    But Rodriguez said they can start moving dirt for the project next year.

The Transit Board consented to the change.     Board Member Joe Spink told Rodriguez the temporary site might be needed beyond this winter.    But his colleague, Doug Clyde, was more optimistic.    

“(Spink) You’re probably gonna be looking at next year at Ecker as well, so not just one winter but maybe two winters.  (Rodriguez) Well, we will be prepared for that if that’s the case, although that’s not the goal.  (Clyde) We can get a bus barn up in a summer.”

During Monday’s meeting, the Board Members discussed some other goals for the near future.

Board Vice-Chairman Joe Spink has announced his resignation and was attending his last meeting.  But he said it’s still important to him that developers and ski resorts building new facilities in the area should take into account the needs of local transit.         

“I think it is absolutely critical that the developers, and the people at the resort core--the people that expect us to deliver guests to their properties and to pick them up—they need to include High Valley Transit in their planning.   And, I’ve carefully chosen my words about what to day here.  But we need to buy buses that fit in roads and around corners and into transit stops.  And so being as part of the design of future transit stations is critical to High Valley Transit and Park City Transit as well.”

Board Member Roger Armstrong echoed those comments.       

“I’ve said this about affordable housing, and I’ll say it about transit.  It’s not entirely on the county.   It’s not entirely on High Valley Transit to provide these solutions.  We need some buy-in and we need some skin in the game from the major employers and the major developers if we’re going to make this work.”

High Valley District Board Member Roger Armstrong.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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