Park City cancels bidding for construction of contaminated soils facility
Decisions about controversial project delayed amid public-information effort
City Hall has canceled a bid process that was meant to secure the services of a firm to build the first cell of a controversial facility where soils contaminated during Park City’s silver-mining era would be stored.
The municipal government in early May launched the bidding for a facility known as a repository. Officials are considering a location on municipal land along the S.R. 248 entryway, at the intersection of S.R. 248 and Richardson Flat Road.
The prospects of City Hall developing a repository have drawn intense criticism from people who live in the vicinity, recreate nearby and others. Leaders are continuing to discuss the project and City Hall is conducting a public-information effort through the middle of July.
The bidding process involved a May 18 deadline for submittals. The construction of the first cell would involve tasks like excavation and hauling. Officials had indicated the bidding timeline would allow for the start of construction as early as July. That schedule was based on the possibility of the start of the excavation of the land off the intersection of Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive where a municipal arts and culture district is envisioned. Much of the soil excavated from that land is expected to be contaminated and require removal to a repository. The soils are expected to contain contaminants like lead and arsenic. The talks about the arts and culture district, though, are continuing and the excavation is no longer expected to begin as early as once anticipated.
City Hall said it had not received a submittal for the construction of the first cell of a repository by the time the bid process was canceled. Several firms received the documentation from the municipal government regarding the project prior to the cancellation but did not submit a bid.
The repository would ultimately provide space for up to 140,000 cubic-yards of material and could take between five and 15 years to fill. Officials have estimated the construction cost at upward of $2.7 million. The repository would be built with a plastic liner on the bottom and later capped in the same manner. The liner would not be permeable. It would also store soils from City Hall housing projects and be available to private homeowners for noncommercial projects.
City Hall once used another repository at Richardson Flat that dates to the mining era and lacks a protective lining. It has not been available since 2010. Officials instead have trucked the materials to a Tooele County facility. Building a repository in Park City, officials say, will reduce costs, cut emissions generated from the trucks driving between Park City and Tooele County and reduce the burden on that community.
Critics of the plans to build a repository along the entryway are worried about the location, the environmental impact and the impact on recreational land. There have also been worries expressed about the process to date and whether the concept has garnered enough publicity.
City Hall is amid a 60-day public-information effort that is expected to be capped by an important discussion by Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council. That meeting is tentatively scheduled on July 15. City Hall staffers at that meeting intend to provide options regarding potential next steps and review the public input with the elected officials. It is likely that meeting will be closely watched with the possibility of substantial input from the public. City Hall staffers do not anticipate the elected officials will make final decisions at the July 15 meeting.
If the elected officials eventually decide to pursue a repository at the location, City Hall would be expected to conduct another bid process similar to the one that has been canceled. Officials would also need to eventually obtain the necessary City Hall permit approval for the construction of a repository.
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