County gives money to round valley open space |

County gives money to round valley open space

Sarah MoffittThe Park Record

The Summit County Council voted last week to contribute $300,000 toward the 121-acre Osguthorpe conservation easement in Round Valley.

The total cost of the conservation agreement is $5.75 million. Park City Municipal, Corp. agreed to fund $4.75 million from open space bondS in February, 2010, and the Summit Land Conservancy pledged to find the other $1 million within two years. The county’s $300,000 will go towards Summit Land Conservancy’s share.

The land is located near the east side of Park City Hill at the State Road 248 entryway.

"At the time the land deal was made, Summit County didn’t have any funding left for open space," said Summit Land Conservancy Executive Director Cheryl Fox.

The county’s funding of the project will come from a $20 million open-space bond which was approved by voters in November, 2010. Summit Land Conservancy had asked the county for $600,000 but the council decided to give only $300,000 at this time.

"We all appreciate Round Valley, but there is a long list of things that Basin Open Space Advisory Board is working on that will already require more money than we have," said Summit County Council Chair Chris Robinson.

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"This area did have development potential prior to the conservation easement so the county is really glad it could help preserve it," said Summit County Sustainability Coordinator Ashley Kohler.

The land will still be owned by the Osguthorpe family and support alfalfa farming, but development on the property will not be allowed. Also, under the requirements of the bond used to fund the easement, the land must have a recreational component.

"This parcel of land has groomed Nordic trails in the winter, connector trails from Park City hill, and is used for a variety of recreational uses," Kohler said.

With the county’s $300,000 and $200,000 in private donations, Summit Land Conservancy is almost halfway to the $1 million it needs to raise to complete the purchase of the easement.

"Even though we didn’t have all the money at the time, we have this great opportunity to save the land and had to see what we could do," said Fox.

Money has also been donated by businesses and private individuals towards the easement, and Fox is hoping people continue to step forward so the transaction can be completed.

"People keep thinking the conservation easement is a done deal, but it’s not done until we raise all the money and make the final transaction," said Fox.