The Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District board Friday morning sent a positive recommendation to the Summit County Council for a half million dollar grant toward the conservation easement purchase on the 158-acre Osguthorpe Ranch on Old Ranch Road. KPCW’s Leslie Thatcher has more.
It’s up to the Summit County Council, as the governing board of the Recreation District to have the final say how the funds approved by voters from an open space bond election are spent. Friday’s positive recommendation means that the Rec District board agreed in principal with granting a half million dollars to the open space easement. The vote also forwarded a positive recommendation for a public recreation access agreement. Details of the agreements have not been released.
Following the unanimous vote, Summit County Council member Kim Carson said both the amount and access agreement are preliminary.
"Unfortunately, there’s still some finalization that needs to take place on the documentation and then there’s additional work that the county needs to do on its end also. So, most likely at our meeting on October 10th, we will be reviewing all of these documents and providing a final approval for the grant agreement and also for a recreational access agreement for winter recreational use on the Osguthorpe property.”
The access will be only during the winter months as the Osguthorpe family uses the property during the summer to grow hay.
“It would be through the property and it would be primarily be trails set for instance, snow shoeing, hiking or cross-country skiing.”
Carson expects that an additional financial contribution will be made by Summit County but that won’t be finalized and announced until the October 10th council meeting.
Summit Land Conservancy Director Cheryl Fox said it’s a great day.
“This is a great day for land conservation in the Snyderville Basin and Park City. This positive recommendation that Basin Recreation is forwarding to the county council moves us a step in the right direction, we hope. We, the Summit Land Conservancy, has been working for 18 months and the county\ council has been working for 18 months also to come to some agreements on how to fund the perpetual conservation of the 158 acres on Old Ranch Road. You know we’re excited that it looks like we’re about to have that agreement.”
While the vote was a great step in the right direction, she says there’s still lots of money to raise.
“The Summit Land Conservancy still has significant money to raise in order to save the farm. So, we’re not done. You know because this grant, this agreement hasn’t been finalized I don’t know the final figure, but it is significant.”
Because the agreements haven’t been finalized she says she doesn’t know how much is left to raise to secure the property, but it’s at least a million dollars.