Utah Open Lands Asks Park City For $550,000 To Help Close The Snow Ranch Pastures Purchase

Jun 27, 2019

Credit Snow Ranch Pastures / Utah Open Lands

Utah Open Lands is asking the Park City Council to donate another $550,000 dollars to the purchase of the 19-acre Snow Ranch Pasture, land conservation deal. The deadline for a decision is June 30. KPCW has details on the request and the short timeline the city has, to decide.

Utah Open Lands Executive Director, Wendy Fisher says they need a million dollars by Sunday. They’re asking the City to help with the final push. She says they were able to enter into an option agreement with the Armstrong families a little over a year ago.

"The conservation easement was appraised at $16 million. Those two sides of the families agreed to contribute $10 million. So, that’s 63 percent of the value. Again, huge, huge contribution to the community already. And then, we had to raise $6 million."

Last year, the Park City Council approved an open space bond initiative for $48 million to purchase the Treasure Hill parcel for preservation with $3 million designated to help conserve the Snow Ranch Pastures land located in Thayne’s Canyon.

“The Armstrong Snow Ranch Pastures was then included in the Treasure Hill, Armstrong Snow Ranch pastures bond that passed by 78% in November of 2018. But that left Utah Open Lands with $3 million left to raise. We have raised essentially $2 million of that.

Park City Manager Diane Foster says due to the city’s triple A credit rating along with having a very successful bond sale, they have an extra 1 million dollars.

“Because of that bond rating and because of really, just a stunning sale that happened, we ended up with an incredible interest rate. And, also something called a bond premium. And Nate was able to reduce the amount of that bond by $1 million.

The City has a tight window to decide to allocate another half of a million dollars, to the purchase of the Snow Ranch Pastures. They’re meeting today and a vote is expected. Foster says the cost to taxpayers will be about $2.20 on a property valued at $800,000.

“The voters have authorized us to put up to $48 million towards this. We could still issue a $47.55 million bond. So, we could still issue a bond that is less than what we anticipated and donate $550,000 to close this gap.”

The Park City Council regular meeting starts at 6. There will be a public hearing and action taken on the request. A link to the staff report can be found here:  https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/385411/6_27_19_UOL_Funding_Request_Armstrong_Property_FINAL_1.pdf