City Hall describes its construction projects | ParkRecord.com

City Hall describes its construction projects

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

A City Hall panel, already interested in talks about what the local government intends to build soon, is scheduled to discuss a wide-ranging set of municipal construction projects on Wednesday.

The Park City Planning Commission, which holds some oversight on municipal projects, has set aside 20 minutes to speak with Matt Cassel, the city engineer. Cassel is a key figure in City Hall’s construction program, and he is especially influential in the local government’s road projects.

The discussion with the Planning Commission comes in the early stages of City Hall’s budget talks. The Park City Council earlier in May started the budget discussions, which are scheduled to last until mid-June.

Municipal construction projects, oftentimes called capital projects by officials, normally are crucial parts of the budget talks, with supporters trying to convince the City Council that the work is worthy of funding. City Councilors have already begun their talks about capital projects.

The Planning Commission meeting about the construction projects is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. in Room 205 of the Park City Library and Education Center. A public hearing is not scheduled.

The panel does not have a role in divvying up money from the City Hall budget, however. Instead, officials are asking the Planning Commission to weigh an extensive list of projects against the city’s General Plan, an overarching document that guides growth in Park City.

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"It’s going to be busy," Cassel said about City Hall’s planned construction projects and private-sector projects.

Some of the discussion on Wednesday is expected to center on road projects like Bonanza Drive. The blueprints for Bonanza Drive have upset some businesses along the busy road that worry that sales will suffer during the work and once the roadwork is finished.

Cassel said he will talk to the Planning Commissioners about a pedestrian-bicyclist tunnel that officials want to build underneath Bonanza Drive close to the Rail Trail. The redo of Bonanza Drive is scheduled over two years, with the first phase planned in 2009 and the second the next year. Cassel said this year’s work will include installing a water line along the entire stretch of Bonanza Drive and roadwork on Bonanza Drive between Deer Valley Drive and upper Iron Horse Loop. The remainder of the work, including building the tunnel, is set for 2010.

Cassel said the Planning Commission might talk about proposed medians along Bonanza Drive, which have been criticized by businesspeople who are worried the medians will make it more difficult for drivers to turn into parking lots.

"There’s some questioning of the medians," Cassel said.

Other projects described in a report to the Planning Commission include a planned renovation of the Racquet Club, City Park improvements, pedestrian upgrades and improvements to the Park City Golf Club.

Meanwhile, the city engineer will present to the panel a schedule for roadwork in Old Town, where City Hall has spent years upgrading neighborhood streets. Roads like Sandridge Avenue, Hillside Avenue, Empire Avenue and Lowell Avenue are scheduled for work in the next few years.

Sandridge Avenue, a tiny street off Marsac Avenue, needs work, says Wendy Van Reyper, who has lived on the street since 1982. If the road is improved, she said, snowplows and garbage trucks will be able to more easily negotiate the street.

"It doesn’t look like a road. It should be accessible 12 months of the year," Van Reyper said, hoping for a "general cleanup" on the street and more landscaping. "I’m lucky, in the winter, if I get garbage service once a month."

Other items the Planning Commission is scheduled to discuss or vote on include:

An idea to expand the municipal bus barn on Iron Horse Drive

Amendments to City Hall’s Land Management Code that address the historic district.