The Park City Council heard a presentation Thursday from two local nonprofits, who are requesting to carve out a space at the Quinn’s Junction Sports Complex for their permanent offices.
Summit Land Conservancy and the Mountain Trails Foundation’s leases at their current Bonanza Park office spaces are likely ending next spring. The two are looking to combine forces and resources to build a permanent home base near the maintenance building at the Quinn’s Junction Sports Complex.
Mountain Trails Foundation Executive Director Charlie Sturgis says renting a new place in Park City is cost-prohibitive for the donor-funded organizations and doing so would divert funding from the community services they provide. Sturgis says they would have to look elsewhere in the county for space.
“We would much rather stay close to town and be part of town--continue the partnership," Sturgis said. "And actually continue to grow with the community, as we have in the past. We’d like to do that going forward.”
Sturgis says the organizations aren’t looking for a donation and plan on funding the building themselves, though the terms of a lease or sale of the land between them and the City is yet to be determined.
Still, multiple council members expressed concern over giving special treatment to one nonprofit over another. For example, the Kimball Art Center and Sundance Institute are putting millions of dollars into their future homes at the Arts and Culture District. On the flipside, Mayor Andy Beerman says the City is building parking, plazas and stairways in the district that those organizations would have had to provide at their own spaces. He says the City tries to support nonprofits when possible.
“The Peace House was brought up, and you know that we gave them several hundred thousand dollars in fee waivers and helped with the purchase of their old facility to fund the new one," Beerman said. "KPCW, we have kind of a unique arrangement with you in this space that I feel there are some benefits to. And every nonprofit you look at, we've tried to help in different ways when they need it and how we can.”
A deed restriction governs the use of the land at the Quinn’s complex, which was purchased from the Gillmor Trust. The restriction limits its use to an educational facility, with connections to nature, conservation and recreation. Beerman says there’s potential for the Summit Land Conservancy and Mountain Trails Foundation facility to feature an educational or visitor center.
“We think it's something that could probably fit under that deed restriction and be appropriate for the space, but we will have to go back to the Gillmor Trust and make sure they agree with that,” Beerman said.
Thursday’s work session was intended to gauge the Council’s interest in Summit Land Conservancy and Mountain Trails Foundation’s proposal. The Council asked City staff to come back with more information and analysis.