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City Briefs

Old Town park planned

The Park City Council on Thursday approved a contract to build a small park in Old Town, advancing the local government’s longstanding efforts to provide gathering places in neighborhoods.

The elected officials agreed to spend $121,913 on the park, which will be built between Main Street, Hillside Avenue and Sandridge Avenue. Matt Twombly, who designs parks for City Hall, says it will cover about a half an acre and the land abuts Poison Creek on its eastern border.

The park will feature a walkway, a small bridge spanning the creek, a seating area and a shady section. Twombly said the park will include a connection to a trail on the other side of Poison Creek.

He called it "a place for someone to go sit and enjoy a passive space." He said neighbors in Old Town will visit the park the most frequently.

Twombly said the park could be opened by the end of 2008.

The City Councilors agreed to a deal with a Salt Lake Valley firm called DRD Paving, LLC. David Harrison, the firm’s owner, said in an interview he is pleased to build parks like the one in Old Town. Most of DRD Paving’s contracts are for roadwork.

"It leaves me a legacy of something other than a road," he said in an interview.

Harrison’s firm has previously built small parks elsewhere in Park City, including outside the Racquet Club and on Main Street, he said.

The City Council chose DRD Paving over four other firms that submitted bids, with DRD Paving submitting the lowest bid. Other bids ranged from $131,241 to $197,500.

City officials for years have put money into smaller parks like the one DRD Paving will build, saying neighborhoods benefit when the smaller parks open.

Twombly said another park is being designed for land off Holiday Ranch Loop Road on the edge of Park Meadows. It is slated for a parcel next to a new fire station.

Construction numbers behind

The Park City construction industry through the end of the summer remained behind the record pace of 2007, the city’s Building Department reports, making it less likely another standard will be set this year.

According to the Building Department, the industry had tallied about $128.6 million by the end of August. The figure trails the approximately $163.4 million that had been recorded through the same period in 2007.

The department in August issued 115 permits valued at a combined $7.8 million, trailing the previous month and the same month in the year before. The permits in August included seven for houses, worth about $2.5 million combined. Two commercial buildings also received permits, valued at $2.7 million.

Permits for alterations and additions, numbering 91, accounted for about $2.4 million. Most of the alterations and additions were made to dwellings.

The number of electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits was mixed compared to the previous month and the same month the previous year.

The city’s building inspectors averaged 268 inspections each day in August, up from the previous month and the same month the year before.

The construction industry in 2007 posted $239.7 million worth of work, besting the record set in 2006. Officials have said throughout 2008 that the figures would be strong, but they have doubted that a third consecutive record would be set.

This year, though, will still likely end as one of the busiest years on record.

The Park City area in 2008 has suffered a slump in the housing market, but the real estate industry remains optimistic, saying that Park City offers competitive prices compared to other mountain resorts like Aspen, Colo., Jackson, Wyo., and Ketchum, Idaho.

Compiled by Jay Hamburger


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