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Park City Council takes up capital budget, Homestake housing, open space projects

Sean Higgins
Park City Hall

The Park City Council has its work cut out for itself this week as councilors will weigh decisions on the city’s budget. The budget for next fiscal year needs to be finalized by the end of June.

Thursday’s meeting at City Hall starts early, with a 2:30 p.m. work session on the city’s capital budget for the next fiscal year.

The city’s financial staffers are recommending the city set aside $69 million for capital investments next year, but that doesn’t mean they’ll spend that much. The council would still have to approve individual projects the money is earmarked for before that happens.

The broader capital plan actually looks five years into the future. City Manager Matt Dias said it includes a range of projects that the council can consider in the years ahead.

“It’s a very strategic, very conservative capital plan," Dias said. "It’s a five-year plan and includes a host of housing initiatives, transportation initiatives, increasing investments in our neighborhoods and mitigating the resort economy – a relatively conservative approach. I think that on the horizon we know there’s going to be some larger decisions to make. We are keeping some of our gunpowder dry for this new mayor and council when they get their feet underneath them, but a very comprehensive plan and approach has been put together.”

Included on the recommended projects list is $20 million to wrap up major construction at the 3Kings Water Treatment Plant near the Park City municipal golf course, and $4.3 million to construct a pedestrian crossing of SR 248 at Snow Creek Drive.

The council is expected to wrap up budget discussions later this month and formally adopt the budget for next fiscal year on June 23.

Following the budget talks, the council will also get a thorough update on the city’s trails and open space initiatives, including fire mitigation and noxious weed abatement efforts.

During the regular meeting, the council will consider amending the memorandum of understanding the city has with the builder of the Homestake affordable housing project, J Fisher Companies, to include a lease option for the land, which may be needed for financing.

The project is a unique public-private partnership between the city and developer to build upwards of 100 rental units in the heart of the downtown area. The city owns the two acres of land and is partnering with J Fisher to construct the project.

Concept plans for the project were presented to the council in April. Dias said the developer is preparing to begin the design and approval process with the Park City Planning Commission, but a few things need to happen before plans are submitted.

“We are coming back in, though, because the developer wants to start looking at financing the project," he said. "In order to do that, they likely need something to capitalize. They likely need a lease on the land, or something like that. That’s an additional discussion as we’re getting closer to submitting a [master planned development] and [conditional use permit]. Our hope is there may be enough confidence from council to actually let the developer and our partners here engage with the planning commission, which is the next real, meaningful step.” 

The meeting closes with a discussion of the city’s revamped long-range transportation plan, called PC Forward. According to a staff report, the council could adopt the new long-range plan later this summer.

A link to Thursday’s full agenda, as well as details on how to participate, can be found here.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.