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Millionth passenger

Park City transit officials expect the one-millionth passenger of 2007 will exit a bus at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 20, the earliest date for the benchmark.

A small celebration is planned at 11 a.m. at the Old Town transit center on Swede Alley. The passenger wins a restaurant gift certificate and will receive a certificate signed by Mayor Dana Williams and City Manager Tom Bakaly.

In a release, City Hall says the March 20 date is three days earlier than the number was reached in 2006.

"It’s been a busy season for us. We hope to move that up every year by carrying more people," Eric Nesset, the city’s transit manager, says in an interview.

He says the number of riders is up 4 percent in 2007 from the 2006 tally.

According to the release, the millionth rider in 2006 boarded a bus on March 23, in 2005, the date was April 12 and in 2004, the millionth rider was not recorded until June 2.

The millionth rider in 2006 was visiting from Honolulu.

Park City officials have long touted the area’s free bus system as a means to reduce traffic by attracting Parkites and visitors. The bus system has expanded significantly from its traditional routes in the city, now, under an agreement with Summit County officials, serving routes at Kimball Junction and in the Snyderville Basin.

The buses are especially popular during the prime ski season and during film-festival week, when big crowds of movie lovers squeeze on board.

The bus system, the city says, is the second largest public-transit system in Utah.

Building makeover

The owners of a Main Street building want to rebuild the property, a task made more difficult by its location in Park City’s historic district.

They want to demolish a 1994 addition on the Swede Alley side of the building, located at 436 Main St., where Quality Interiors resides, according to Katie Cattan, a City Hall planner assigned to the application.

Cattan says they would then replace the addition with a new one — two floors on the Swede Alley side. An apartment would be built in the addition, she says.

The city’s Historic Preservation Board, which holds some decision-making powers in Old Town, recently discussed the application and Cattan reports the panel appeared in favor of allowing the owners to raze the addition since it is not historic. The board delayed a decision until at least a March 19 meeting.

The front, Main Street-facing side of the building will be preserved as part of the development plans, Cattan says.

The original part of the building dates to 1898, the year a devastating fire destroyed much of Park City, she says in a report to the board.

It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is historically significant, consultants who recently inventoried Old Town properties found. Cattan says in the report a brewing company and a five-and-dime store once occupied the building.

A 1993 fire destroyed much of the building, she says.

Park City officials have long tightly regulated development in Old Town, hoping to preserve the city’s heritage and what many people see as the quaintness of the neighborhood, including Main Street.

The consultant, though, found in 2006 Main Street’s place on the National Register is threatened by new developments that are out of character on the historic street.

New golf carts

Park City plans to replace its fleet of golf carts, agreeing to spend $278,580 for the new carts.

Craig Sanchez, who manages the 18-hole Park City Golf Club, says a firm called Highland Golf is expected to deliver the 75 new carts April 1, a few weeks before the golf course is tentatively scheduled to open. Seventy-three are powered by electricity and two run on gasoline.

Yamaha manufactures the carts and Sanchez says golfers should not expect a "huge noticeable difference" with the new carts.

The city’s lease on the 73 golf carts it has used expired in 2007, Sanchez says in a report to Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council. The City Councilors unanimously approved the deal with Highland in early March. Highland is the only firm that submitted a bid.

The report indicates City Hall staffers determined it is better to purchase the carts instead of continuing under a lease.

Sanchez says the new carts are more efficient and use less power than the older fleet.

The purchase was financed with money from the golf course’s budget and a five-year loan, with an interest rate of 5 percent, from City Hall’s capital-improvement fund, a large pot of money used for various projects.

Sanchez’s report indicates the golf course will repay the loan out of revenues it makes renting the carts, estimated at $187,000 annually.

The Park City Golf Club has long been lauded as one of the finest public courses in Utah and many see the course as a bargain.

Resident rates in 2007, from May 27 until Sept. 30, are $32 for an 18-hole round without a cart and $46 with one. Non-resident rates are $43 for an 18-hole round without a cart and $57 with one.

Rates from the opening of the course until May 27 are slightly lower.

For more information, call 615-5800 or visit the course’s World Wide Web site, http://www.parkcity.org/citydepartments/golfcourse

Compiled by Jay Hamburger


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