Park City readies public-relations campaign for controversial contaminated soils facility
Officials want to reach out to certain neighborhoods, hold a hearing and schedule panel discussion
City Hall wants to execute a public-relations effort to outline the concept to build a facility along the S.R. 248 entryway to store soils containing contaminants from Park City’s silver-mining era, outlining a 60-day effort designed to explain the idea as many Parkites appear to be concerned about the prospects of a project.
Officials have taken steps to build what is known as a repository on municipal land located at the S.R. 248-Richardson Flat Road intersection. Soils containing contaminants like lead and arsenic would be stored in the facility. The repository would ultimately have space for 140,000 cubic-yards of materials and have an estimated construction cost of approximately $2.7 million.
City Hall would use the repository as it excavates land for projects like a planned arts and culture district off the intersection of Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive as well as housing projects. Private homeowners would be allowed to use the repository for noncommercial purposes. Park City leaders say a repository is a better option than continuing to have materials hauled to a facility in Tooele County.
There has been criticism in recent weeks from Parkites worried about the impacts of a repository at the location. There is concern the repository would be too close to residences and land used for recreational purposes.
City Hall staffers drafted a report in anticipation of a Park City Council meeting scheduled on Thursday outlining a proposal for a public-relations campaign. The report says staffers are “aware of the concerns raised in the community and the desire to deepen our level of engagement and education prior to taking additional action on the proposed repository.”
One of the key steps in the report centers on outreach in certain neighborhoods with in-person and online information sessions. The report lists Chatham Hills, Chatham Crossing, Fairway Hills, Park City Heights and Prospector as the neighborhoods.
Officials would also approach entities located in the vicinity of the proposed repository. They include Park City Hospital, the National Ability Center, U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the Summit County Health Department and others.
Other options include a City Council hearing, a panel discussion at the Park City Library, informational sessions conducted live and online and a special edition of a Coffee with Council, which is an ongoing series of gatherings led by elected officials.
The report indicates Utah Department of Environmental Quality representatives have indicated they would participate in a meeting for the public. The department must approve the repository before it is built.
Thirty minutes are set aside during the meeting on Thursday for Mayor Andy Beerman and the City Council to discuss the public-relations campaign. The meeting starts at 4 p.m. while the discussion about the campaign regarding the repository is expected to begin at 5:15 p.m. The meeting will be held online as officials continue to hold virtual meetings to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. More information about the meeting is available on the City Hall website, parkcity.org.
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A member of the Summit County Council engaged Park City officials as tensions continued regarding a City Hall concept to build a facility to store materials containing silver mining-era contaminants along the S.R. 248 entryway. Roger Armstrong has emerged as one of the high-profile critics of the efforts to build a facility known as a repository.