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Walking committee formed

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

In anticipation of an Election Day bond to improve walking and bicycling routes, the Park City Council recently formed a committee to consider how the $15 million should be spent if voters approve the ballot measure.

The City Councilors would appoint people to the committee, known as the Walking and Biking Advisory Liaison Committee, with an acronym of WALC, if the bond passes. Six groups and government panels would be represented, and the City Councilors would choose three Parkites to serve at-large positions.

The groups that would have members on the committee are:

( The Park City Planning Commission

( Mountain Trails Foundation

( Share the Road committee

( Recreation Advisory Board

( Park City Chamber/Bureau

( Park City School District

Two members of the City Council would work with the committee.

The committee would conduct its work quickly, with the group likely disbanding next summer, after City Hall’s next budget is approved. If the bond passes, it is expected the money would be set aside for projects during next year’s budget talks.

Jon Weidenhamer, the official leading the walking and bicycling efforts for City Hall, says the committee would review $1.9 million in projects already under consideration, such as building sidewalks on parts of Little Kate Road and Comstock Drive, and study more ambitious ideas.

The committee is then expected make recommendations to the City Council, which will decide how the money is spent. The money must be put toward projects identified in an earlier study. Other ideas will not receive funding from the bond.

Weidenhamer says City Hall will advertise the three at-large members if the bond passes. People must be Park City residents to be eligible. The City Council is expected to make the appointments by early December.

The meetings will be public, and Weidenhamer envisions the committee meeting monthly.

If the bond passes, there has been widespread talk about the money paying for upgrades like pedestrian and bicyclist tunnels under Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard, but the determinations would not be made until the committee and the City Council consider the options.

Someone who owns a primary residence will pay another $16.80 in property taxes annually on each $100,000 of assessed value if the bond passes. That means someone who owns a home valued at $500,000 will pay another $84 each year.

Someone who owns a vacation home or a business property will pay another $30.55 per $100,000 of assessed value. Someone with one of those properties valued at $500,000 would pay $152.75 annually.

The idea of a committee is similar to that of a City Hall panel that assists with open-space purchases. When voters passed Park City’s first open-space bond, officials seated a committee to review potential purchases.

Much of that panel’s work, though, is conducted in closed-door meetings, which is allowed under state law because property purchases are discussed.

The open-space panel, known as the Citizens Open Space Advisory Committee, includes people from government boards and activist groups.


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