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Farmington ponders bond for new 50-acre park
by TOM BUSSELBERG
Mar 12, 2014 | 1744 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

FARMINGTON - The city of Farmington has the ground for a 50-acre park. Now all they need to do is build the infrastructure to create a regional park.

It’s somewhat like paying for a house and then not having the money to furnish or landscape it.

“We’ve been working on this for many years,” said City Manager David Millheim. “(Park) impact fees have helped pay for it, but that paid only for acquisition of land, not for development.”

In addition, money deposited in the general fund as a “rainy day fund” also helped, chipping in about $1 million of the cost.

The council will probably consider approving a bond to pay for development, from installation of pavilions to tennis courts and parking lots, etc.

A $3.5 million bond could be sold, and probably wouldn’t mean any additional expense on the back of taxpayers, Millheim said.

“One (existing) bond is almost paid off,” meaning the new bond could basically replace the old one, he said.

“We think it’s the right time to get the park done,” Millheim said. Reasons for that belief include the fact a new high school could open by 2018, assuming voters approve a school district bond in November. That would mean the loss of athletic field areas.

In addition, a 35-acre subdivision is planned for the area, meaning at least 100 homes could be built, increasing potential use for the park.

Along with a bond, city officials are considering revising the impact fee structure.

“We’re not expecting any one group to have to pay for all of it,” Millheim said of park improvements through impact fees. “I believe residents will be supportive,” because it will be those moving into new homes in the area that most likely will use the new park.

In addition to the regional park, a five or six-acre park will be created as part of the new subdivision, meaning there will be two parks in the Glover Lane and 1100 West area, Millhiem said.

Davis School District has also purchased 11 acres for a new elementary school in the area, he said.

In conjunction with that school, the city is exploring construction of a gymnasium in partnership with Davis School District, Millheim said.

 Details are still being discussed, but the gym would help create more play space for basketball and other indoor sports, for which space is in short supply, the city manager said.

No swimming pool is planned as part of it. However, there would probably be two basketball courts and a small weight room.

Similar partnerships already exist in Layton at Central Davis Junior High and in South Weber, in connection with the elementary school. 

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