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Vote yes on Basin Recreation bond

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Early voting starts Tuesday, continues through Friday and re-opens the following week. Our final opportunity to cast a ballot is Nov. 4, just 16 days from now. In the meantime, we all have some serious homework to do.

Summit County voters have a number of difficult decisions to make this year with two county council members and all seven county department heads up for election this year. The Congressional seat that represents Summit County is up for grabs and on the state level two representatives and our state senator are stumping for your support. There are contested school board seats in the South Summit and Park City School Districts, too.

So don’t rush to the polls before you have had a chance to learn about the candidates and the jobs they are seeking. The county department head positions, for instance, come with hefty salaries, funded by your tax dollars, and once elected they will hold office for four to six years. In addition to being handsomely paid, they have the power to wield substantial influence over county services, infrastructure and our economic future.

But, while some of the races are tight, with qualified candidates going head to head, one decision should be a slam dunk, at least for Snyderville Basin voters.

The last question on this year’s ballot asks whether taxpayers in the Snyderville Basin Recreation District are willing to increase their property taxes to cover a $25 million general obligation bond for open-space acquisition, trails, and recreation facility development. The bond will raise property taxes on a typical $652,000 home by $125. That’s not an insignificant amount, but the potential to preserve our mountain environment by setting aside open space, adding vital trail connections and expanding recreation facilities, is well worth the investment.

Park City and Snyderville residents made similar commitments in the past, and have not regretted it. The resulting bike paths, pedestrian crossings and parks are now taken for granted as indispensible community assets.

If approved, the lion’s share of the bond, $15 million, would go toward buying open space. The balance would help to fund connections to existing trails along State Road 224 where cyclists and hikers are currently forced onto the roadways alongside traffic. Other potential projects include pedestrian crossings under or over State Road 224 near Parley’s Park Elementary, under US 40 at Silver Creek and over State Road 248 at the Rail Trail intersection.

Some of the money is also earmarked for a gymnasium at the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse and partnering with Park City to add a second sheet of ice at the heavily used ice arena at Quinn’s Junction.

This is an easy decision. If you live in the Snyderville Basin Recreation District, vote Yes on the bond. If you live outside the district and use the parks and trails, do your part by contributing to the Mountain Trails Foundation and the Summit Land Conservancy.


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