A pond with purpose: Park City plans large waterworks upgrade
March 25, 2016
Park City is preparing to develop a site close to Quinn’s Junction with what would be one of its most ambitious public works upgrades, a project that would involve waterworks improvements, storage space and administrative square footage.
There has been limited publicity as the municipal government moves forward with an early stage of the project. The Public Utilities Department recently posted notices seeking architectural and engineering firms. Proposals for the engineering services are due April 7 while they are due a week later for architectural services.
City Hall wants to develop land under municipal ownership off Quinn’s Junction. It is located just north of an existing water-treatment plant. Park City held much of the acreage for years and acquired the rest of the land in anticipation of some sort of development like the project now under consideration. The land covers approximately 12.8 acres, but less than half of the ground will be developed.
Roger McClain, the public utilities engineering manager for City Hall, said the project will provide a long-term solution for waterworks, streets and storm-drain functions. It is "critical infrastructure," he said. The postings say the project "will address immediate and long-term space considerations" for City Hall.
The project is expected to cost $11.1 million, a large sum for a City Hall project. McClain said the waterworks portion of the work will be funded through water bills without a required increase in rates. The rest of the project will be funded through City Hall’s regular budget. The City Council will likely consider awarding contracts for the architectural and engineering services in early to midsummer. The contracts will represent a small portion of the overall cost of the project and will be followed later with a much more valuable construction contract.
One of the key improvements that will be undertaken as part of the project is the construction of a storage facility for water, called a basin. It will appear as if it was a pond. The water will be imported from the Weber River through a pipeline. McClain said the pond will store water before it is put through the nearby treatment plant. Treatment allows the municipal government to put the water into the culinary system.
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McClain said the project will also be important as City Hall further ensures there is a backup water source if a primary source encounters problems, something known as redundancy. He noted there is expected to be energy savings at the existing water-treatment plant as a result of the project.
The storage pond for water will be designed to hold between 6 million and 8 million gallons of water. McClain said it would cover between two and three acres. The storage pond would be situated across S.R. 248 from the existing water-treatment plant.
McClain said recreational uses will be restricted at the storage pond, which will be designed to be between 12 and 15 feet deep. A fence will be built around the storage pond to protect the site from people and wildlife. There are no trails that cross the site, he said.
McClain said City Hall considered sites throughout Park City for the facility before choosing the one close to Quinn’s Junction. The location of the pond within the overall project boundaries has not been finalized. Other parts of the project will include storage buildings for snowplows and streets equipment. Some of the storage will replace the space that will be lost when City Hall redevelops a building on Park Avenue that once housed a fire station. There will also be a building for water operations and administrative space for waterworks and streets staffers.
‘This allows us to maintain our level of service to the city," McClain said, adding the project will also be good for morale in the Public Utilities Department.
Park City wants to break ground as early as the spring of 2017 with completion possibly by 2020. City Hall will be required to secure the necessary permit from the Park City Planning Commission prior to starting the project.
The waterworks portions of the project will be especially noteworthy. Park City has long wanted to expand the capacity of the water system, which is sometimes stressed on the busiest days of the summer as homeowners water lawns. The other upgrades are meant to ensure there is space for the expanding functions of the Public Utilities Department, which is the successor to the traditional Public Works Department.