Deadline passes: Treasure conservation vote cannot happen in 2010 | ParkRecord.com

Deadline passes: Treasure conservation vote cannot happen in 2010

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Park City residents will not go to the polls this year to cast what would be a landmark vote on a bond to fund a conservation deal for all or part of the Sweeney family’s Treasure land if an agreement is eventually reached.

State election law requires a public body such as the Park City Council approve the language of bond 75 days prior to Election Day. That deadline was Thursday, according to Michael Kovacs, the assistant Park City manager. Kovacs researched the topic in July, as two well-attended open houses focused on Treasure options were held.

Negotiating teams from City Hall and the Sweeney family are engaged in closed-door talks about the possibility of a conservation deal, but it appears that it could be at least a few months before either an agreement is reached or the talks are broken off.

It was unclear through the summer whether the two sides would reach an agreement in time for Election Day 2010, set for Nov. 2, but some of the people involved had indicated the negotiations would be lengthy.

If an agreement is reached that requires a bond election, the earliest it could occur is June 2011, when City Hall would need to schedule a special election, according to Kovacs. Under that schedule, the language would also need to be approved by the City Council 75 days prior to the election.

The next date available for a bond election after June is Election Day 2011, in November of that year, with the same timeline for the ballot language in place.

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The Treasure land is situated on a hillside overlooking Old Town close to the route of the Town Lift. The land sits off roads like Lowell Avenue and Empire Avenue. The Sweeney family has already set aside much of the acreage from development.