The Park City Council gave its staff the OK to move forward with designing a new permanent contaminated soils repository on the city’s eastern border and making room for a new recycling center.
Park City Council member Tim Henney says the city has been struggling with what to do for contaminated soil left over from the city’s mining days. For years, the toxic soil was dumped at Richardson Flat – but that has since been closed to all but the property owner’s private use.
While some of the soil can stay on a construction project. others have had to pay big bucks to have it trucked to the Tooele repository more than 100 miles away.
Henney says the city is following up on a recommendation made by a soils advisory commission more than a dozen years ago.
“I think we've already seen a lot of projects that have borne significant additional costs because of having to take soils down to Tooele and this is trying to address that,” Henney said. “So, it's not only for our projects but it would also be for some of the smaller scale residential projects I think that's important too.”
The repository would be built on city owned land near Quinn’s Junction, known as the Gordo parcel. Some 35,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil is already there, and it’s estimated the city will add another 50,000 cubic yards as it prepares the Arts and Culture property for development.
Henney isn’t sure how much soil could eventually be placed there but would be open to residents who are doing small construction or landscaping projects.
Like a landfill – a big pit would be dug - then lined and eventually capped once it’s filled. Henney says eventually it could be used as field space or even housing built on top.
The location is also deemed to be a good one for the future site of a new recycling center. Because of the construction planned of the Arts and Culture District, Recycle Utah has to be out of its current location – which is owned by the city – by April.
Recycle Utah would have two acres here – more than twice the size of its current center. Henny wasn’t sure if the city will sell the land or donate it.
“You know we haven't gotten that far into it but I kind of doubt it,” he said. “I think you know we gave him a great lease on the land where they currently are I think we probably workout something very similar to that and we would ask them to fundraise and use their capital to build their facility out which is kind of in the that's been the framework that we have talked to them about for the last eight years.”
At this point, there aren’t cost estimates for the project and it isn’t clear whether a zoning change is needed to build a repository or a recycling center.
In other business, the council approve a revised current year budget and a provisional budget for FY 2021. Budget Manager Jed Briggs has taken the unused walkability funds – about $4million from the $15 million voters authorized in 2007 - to be used for other shovel ready projects.
Henney says he is ok with reallocating the voter approved funds to be used in a different project than originally intended. The money has been sitting in reserves for years slated to address the intersection at Kearns Blvd and Park Ave – known as the Jan’s to Dans corridor. While original plans considered an underground tunnel for pedestrian and bike traffic there, Henney says the money will be used elsewhere.
“This is taking walkability funds and allocating it to shovel ready projects that we can make some progress on right now but it's all walkability,” he said. “So I see it all under the same umbrella and I think it's accomplishing the same goals of improving, you know, our alternate modes of transportation and making things more friendly for pedestrians and bicyclists and getting people out of automobile so yeah I think it's terrific.”
He added we will see bus stop improvements in front of the Fresh Market stops and around the corner to Highway 248, instead.