Summit County is still pursuing the acquisition of the Florence Gillmor parcel. County manager Tom Fisher says it’s a slow process with environmental implication, since the property is in the Lower Silver Creek watershed, overseen by the EPA.
Fisher told KPCW that the county hasn’t closed on the property yet.
“Because its property acquisition I can’t go into it very deeply but we’re still working very closely with the EPA. I’m trying to come together on the process part of this which is very complicated within federal law in order to make sure that the county doesn’t take on too much liability in this process. That’s probably about as deeply as I want to go into it at this point but we’re still working very closely to try and get this done.”
The Gillmor parcel is some 460 acres, south of the Silver Creek Justice Center. The county would preserve it through a conservation easement.
“We would be purchasing the property and then putting conservation easement on it in a way that it would not only allow for recreation on the property but also future cleanup in different parts of the property in order to advance the cleanup faster than it would normally go. Part of the operating unit two and three when we talk about the EPA process in Lower Silver Creek.” Fisher explains what sort of recreation opportunities might exist, “We’re probably talking trailheads and recreation trails for bikes and walking and things like that.”
The Silver Creek corridor is a drainage area with soils still affected from Park City’s old mining days. Fisher said it hasn’t been decided yet if the tailings will be covered or excavated and moved.
“The peripheral knowledge that I have they have not come to a final conclusion on what that cleanup will look like because they’re still going through all the investigations of what is actually out there with those that are responsible for it which is United Park City Mines. So, until they finish that process and then transfer that into a plan of what will actually get done I can’t really speak to what that cleanup plan will look like. Those processes are very slow.”
Finally, we asked if the county has seen any difference in the EPA’s operations, under the Trump Administration.
“Haven’t felt any difference in that in changes of administration but we haven’t really probed that far into it at this point. It could be part of our future process.”