Summit County awards nearly $1 million in tax grants to promote recreation

New playground, upgraded bathrooms and outdoor learning space among funded projects

A $715,000 project to replace the old artificial turf at the Quinn’s Junction Sports Complex, shown in July, and replace it with new artificial grass was funded through last year’s Recreation, Arts, Parks Tax grant. This year, the county awarded nearly $1 million to 14 projects.
Park Record file photo by David Jackson

Summit County residents will soon be able to enjoy upgraded facilities, ranging from a frontier-themed playground, an outdoor learning space, new bathroom fixtures and other improvements, with the approval of nearly $1 million in tax grants to promote recreation across the county.

The Summit County Council at its Jan. 11 meeting approved $937,504 in Recreation, Arts, Parks (RAP) Tax grants to fund 14 projects recommended by the recreation committee. The group received nearly $1.1 million by collecting a .10% sales tax within the county for cultural and recreation opportunities, resulting in a more than $200,000 surplus. 

This year’s funding requests ranged from $17,000 to $600,000, but two organizations were disqualified and the County Council was opposed to providing additional funding to organizations that requested less than the project total in their applications.

“Most years there are more applications and funding requests than there are funds,” the recreation committee responded in a staff report. “We don’t want to incentivize applicants to inflate their requests in the future or be prejudiced to those grant applicants that are frugal in their requests … With these smaller entities, any additional funding always is appreciated and would be utilized.”

Summit Community Gardens, for example, asked for $17,843, or 54% of the total cost of its project. The committee recommended the project – which would cover the cost of purchasing and installing bilingual educational signs through Miss Billie’s Garden Classroom and creating an outdoor “imagination zone learning center – be fully funded for $32,781.

But the committee could only award the organization what it initially requested.

Similarly, the town of Henefer and Francis City also asked for less than what was needed to complete their projects. Henefer requested $90,000 in RAP funds to improve rodeo facilities with fencing and a crow’s nest. Meanwhile, Francis asked for $97,000 to replace playground equipment at Francis Park, near the community center and outdoor picnic pavilion. The city has chosen a frontier theme to celebrate its heritage. 

The projects’ total cost would be around $110,000 each; however, only the amount asked for on the applications could be funded.

Among the recipients that received the most funding are Park City Municipal Golf Club, which will receive about $168,000 for two fully electric green mowers, and Oakley City, which was awarded $112,880 for two projects along the Weber River Corridor. The Oakley grant money will be used to clear brush and debris, construct field fencing along a new trail, construct a bridge over the Weber River and provide a road base for a new parking lot near the Oakley Campground and Franson Park, according to the staff report.

The Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District was awarded almost $100,000 to provide shading for the Willow Creek tennis and pickleball courts. The tax will fund the purchase of four or five covers to shade the area and improve safety. Basin Recreation was also awarded $90,550 to replace decade-old cardio equipment at the Fieldhouse. Staffers plan to purchase six stationary bikes as well as six rowing and elliptical machines.

The Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District was awarded $90,550 in Recreation, Arts, Parks (RAP) Tax grant funds to replace decade-old cardio equipment at the Fieldhouse. Basin Recreation plans to purchase six stationary bikes as well as six rowing and elliptical machines.
Park Record file photo by David Jackson

Park City Miners Baseball Foundation received $86,853 for the design and engineering plans to help transition the existing grass fields to turf fields. The group originally asked for $100,000. The recreation committee also asked for a letter from the Park City School District to confirm the location of the fields will not change as a condition of approval.

Other projects include:

  • $38,777 for new bathrooms throughout the Park City Ice Arena.
  • $33,090 for ball netting on the turf fields at the Park City Sports Complex. 
  • $32,295 for acoustic fencing to reduce noise at the Park City Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center (PC MARC).
  • $25,600 to design and purchase new signage and maps for Round Valley to distribute users throughout the trail complex. Funds were awarded to the Mountain Trails Foundation.
  • $24,300 for five trail counters, to be purchased by Mountain Trails Foundation, that will be placed along various pathways and single-track trails.
  • $20,500 for park improvements including, replacing playground equipment, repairing bathroom doors and purchasing picnic tables, at the Woodenshoe Park in Peoa.

The committee received two other applications, but could not consider the organizations for funding.

North Summit Recreation submitted a PowerPoint on “Beacon Hill Phase #2”, the staff report said, but it did not go through the proper application process. The staff report did not specify how much the request was for.

Park City Ski & Snowboard, LLC requested $600,000 for a community jump. However, the organization was disqualified because it did not meet the qualifying criteria as a “recreation facility” that is “publicly owned or operated,” the report said.

State code defines a recreation facility as “a publicly owned or operated park, campground, marina, dock, golf course, playground, athletic field, gymnasium, swimming pool, trail system, or other facility used for recreational purposes,” and the grant application specifies that only those entities qualify for RAP taxes.

Around 32% of the grant funds were distributed throughout Park City with nearly 23% going to the Snyderville Basin, 20% allocated to South Summit and almost 8% awarded to North Summit. 

Close to 18% of the funds, or $202,495, will remain available for the next grant cycle.

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