More cleanup of Utah mines |

More cleanup of Utah mines

Allen Best

PARK CITY, Utah – In Park City, as in so many other former mining districts of the West, the resort boom continues to clean up after the mining boom of the past century.There, a former mining claim where silver was mined from 1920 to 1935 is being cleaned up by a development firm, called King Development Group, and the city government. There was no cost estimate for the cleanup.”We have a thin veneer of resort over 100 years of heavily industrial mining activity,” said Myles Rademan, Park city’s director of public affairs.Active mining continued until midway through the 20th century at Park City, whose silver lode was said to be second in the United States only to the Comstoke Lode of the Sierra Nevada, and limited mining events have persisted in the past 20 years, Rademan said.Today, Park City gets 40 percent of its water from abandoned mining tunnels, although the water has high concentrations of heavy metals, and hence must be cleaned up at great expense.Also involved in cleanup operations in Park City is Avon-based East West Partners, which has removed hundreds of thousands of yards of polluted soil and other material to make an area at Empire Pass developable.School numbers rising after lullCRESTED BUTTE – The dip in school enrollment of the early 21st century seems to be ending. Several school districts in mountain-resort areas are reporting marginally increased student enrollments this fall.In Crested Butte-Gunnison schools, enrollment was up by 83 students – this compared with a drop of 100 students since 2000. The school district in Steamboat Springs and an adjoining school district, South Routt, are also reporting a slight increase in enrollment.While public schools in most of the rapidly growing resort areas of the West swelled during the 1990s, enrollments leveled off or even dropped beginning in about 2000 – even as resort areas continued to grow. One reason is that the Gen Xers, who are in their 20s and 30s, were small in number to begin with, compared with Baby Boomers. And high housing prices in resort areas have driven some families closer to cities.Sun Valley looks to impose home-size capSUN VALLEY, Idaho Town officials in Sun Valley are moving to cap the size of homes. The average size of homes is now 3,500 square feet, and the mayor and city council had wanted a cap of 10,000 square feet. The intent, Mayor Jon Thorson said, was to “protect the integrity of Sun Valley.”The town’s planning commission could only agree on a cap of 12,000 square feet. The cap is being rushed, reported the Idaho Mountain Express, as Idaho voters in November will vote on a proposal that will require Idaho counties and cities to pay landowners whose property values are decreased by land-use laws.

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