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City Briefs

Bike park remains

The Park City Planning Commission recently agreed to allow the dirt bike jump park on the edge of Park Meadows to remain intact through May 31, 2008, giving the riders another year to catch air.

The permit that regulates the park was set to expire at the end of the month. Still, though, the government sees the park as temporary and the recent approval does not make it permanent.

Ken Fisher, who manages City Hall’s recreation programs, says the planned construction of a nearby fire station could have impacts and it is unclear whether the jump park will stay at the same location once the work starts.

"Not as popular as the skateboard park but the use is what we expected," Fisher says about the jump park’s popularity.

The park, 2360 Holiday Ranch Loop Road, features four lines for riders and is enclosed with a chain-link fence.

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Fisher hopes the jump park remains at the site permanently but he acknowledges that the land is valuable.

Fisher’s department runs clinics at the jump park and he says about 40 kids participated in 2006.

Motorcycles are not allowed in the park.

It is open until mid-October, weather permitting.

Packed garage

Parking charges during the Sundance Film Festival did not influence all the revelers to take buses instead of driving to Main Street, data compiled by City Hall shows.

According to a report to Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council recently, all of the parking spots in the China Bridge garage, Swede Alley and the Flag Pole lot at the bottom of Swede Alley were filled during the opening weekend of the festival, Jan. 19-21.

Park City officials charged for parking in the lots during the festival. Normally they are free.

A graph submitted to the elected officials shows the number of cars parked in the three locations dipped toward the middle of the week, including falling to a little more than 50 percent on Jan. 24, a Wednesday.

From Wednesday, the number climbed until Jan. 27, the last Saturday of the festival, when the lots were almost 100 percent occupied, it shows.

Brian Anderson, who manages City Hall’s parking program, says 8,300 cars parked in the three locations through the festival. The numbers do not include people parked in free lots and on streets surrounding Main Street, like Park Avenue.

Finding parking is notorious during Sundance as huge crowds, including Parkites, visitors from outside Utah and people from elsewhere in the state, descend on the city to go to films, party and gawk at celebrities.

Traffic is terrible and drivers are often seen circling in the Main Street area as they look for a parking spot.

Meanwhile, Anderson’s report indicates that China Bridge, which is on Swede Alley, is "not a clean garage" and staffers have received comments describing it as such.

He says in an interview some people during the film festival were unable to see the lines marking parking spots because dirt covered them. Some parked outside the lines, he says.

"The garage is the first and last experience a patron to Main Street has," Anderson says, describing why officials want the garage to be cleaner.

He says staffers plan to request money for a sweeper-scrubber for the garage and other places, such as sidewalks, during City Hall’s upcoming budget talks. He estimates it could cost between $60,000 and $65,000.

Anderson says in his report the city’s current cleaner is too big to fit in the garage.

Building stays strong

Park City’s construction industry, as has been expected, is well over its 2006 pace, the Building Department reports.

According to the department, builders had tallied just more than $81.5 million in construction through the end of April, outstripping the previous year’s numbers. Through the same time last year, the industry had tallied a little more than $33.2 million.

In April, the department issued 112 permits worth a little more than $8.4 million combined, more than the March numbers but behind those recorded in April 2006, when a little more than $10.2 million was authorized.

The number of electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits were generally up from the previous month and April 2006.

In April, the department granted permits for three single-family homes, worth about $1.5 million combined, one duplex, which is valued at $804,309, and one 10-unit multi-family development, valued at a little more than $1.4 million.

Additions and alterations to dwellings boosted the numbers, with a little more than $4.2 million worth of work permitted.

The department averaged 179 inspections each day in April, well above the figures in March and the previous April.

The construction industry is enjoying a boom, with 2006 setting an all-time record with almost $173.3 million in activity reported. Building officials are unsure if another record will be set in 2007.

Compiled by Jay Hamburger