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More open space on tap

The Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District hopes to soon begin issuing bonds to buy open space.

Two years ago a majority of Basin voters approved a $10 million bond to preserve land to stop development. The first bond payment from taxpayers will likely be due next June.

"We sure have big plans for this money," Summit County Commissioner Sally Elliott said.

A sale of the general obligation bonds to nationwide underwriters could start Oct. 22 at 9:30 a.m.

"Two weeks ago there were almost no municipal bond sales in the nation," Brian Baker, assistant vice president of Zions Bank Public Finance, told the Summit County Commission Wednesday. "The district and the county always reserve the right to pull the bond sale at any time We have the right to reject any and all bids."

The Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District covers about 60 miles with unincorporated areas that include The Canyons, The Colony, Promontory, Glenwild, Pinebrook, Summit Park, Timberline, Jeremy Ranch, Ranch Place and Silver Springs.

The population of the Basin Special Recreation District is about 24,500 people.

The Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s agencies recently bumped ratings in the district, Baker said.

"They’re basically the two big bond agencies," Baker said. "They’ve both been upgraded into the AA category."

Higher ratings could mean lower interest rates on financing for recreation projects, he explained.

"That speaks volumes," Summit County Commissioner Bob Richer said.

The new Standard and Poor’s rating of AA+ is higher than Park City Municipal, which has a rating of AA-.

"In a risky market environment having a higher rating makes a big difference," Baker said.

Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s found the district’s financial condition to be strong, Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District spokeswoman Bonnie Park said.

"Given the state of economic affairs," Park added.


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