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Park Rag Morning 3/7/2017

Happy Tuesday. It’s a great time of the year. With the state legislature’s year coming to a close, the School District in the midst of planning for expansion, and the scramble for Bonanza Flat dollars, lot’s of interesting things are happening. Here are some of the BIG and little news items that you may find interesting.

1. You will won’t be paying more for food

Over the weekend we learned that it was basically a done deal that the Utah Legislature will increase sales tax on food by 3%. However, it appears the state legislature ran out of time and according to House Speaker Greg Hughes there will be no sales tax increase on food this year. Hughes said there was the political will to increase the tax among lawmakers, but that in the end, it just didn’t raise enough money to be worth it.

Read More from the Salt Lake Tribune.

2. You will be paying for parking at China Bridge

Park City Transportation Manager Alfred Knotts told KPCW’s Leslie Thatcher that the city has an RFP out for technology related to charging for parking at China Bridge. He said “that RFP will dictate the schedule” for paid parking. Knott’s said it will be a “soft rollout” and that the price structure will be fluid. Ms Thatcher asked whether the city should give the heads up to locals, since China Bridge has inherently been free parking. Mr Knotts said yes there will likely be charges during busy times of the day.

Welcome to the ever escalating world of parking charges. We’ll remind you that people in Chicago don’t bat an eye at paying $30 to park near Michigan Avenue.

3. SAGE testing may be replaced by ACT

On Monday, the Utah House Education Committee voted to move SB0220 to the Senate. SB0220 provides an updated method of grading schools across the state. According to Deseret News, elementary schools will be judged based on the “percent of students who score proficient or above on a statewide test; academic growth; academic growth of the school’s lowest performing quartile; and progress of English learners.” High School students will be graded on those four factors as well as graduation rates, students who score 18 or above on the ACT, and the percentage of students who take AP test or advanced career and technical education courses.

As currently stands, the bill would also do away with the much maligned SAGE test. Taking its place would be the ACT Aspire test.

The one sticking point is that the bill (in its current form) would mandate letter grading of schools. Various school groups, some PTA organizations, and some members of the Utah State Board of Education are opposed to the idea because they don’t feel the information will provide an adequate picture of our schools.

This bill would make grading of Park City schools similar to US News and World Reports Top High Schools. That’s good for Park City School District as we have high graduation rates, good ACT scores, and lots of students taking AP tests. However, recently the proficiency of our English Language Learners has not been up to par. The hope is that dual-immersion programs in our elementary schools will help improve scores.

4. There will be 9 E-Bike Stations

In June, Summit County will be launching its E-Bike initiative. There will be four stations in the county, one at the Canyons, and four in Park City. They will be at: the new Whole Foods, Tanger Outlet, Kimball Junction Transit Station, and New Park, Canyons, Prospector Square, Park City Transit Center, Town Lift or Fresh Market (not defined yet), and perhaps the Library.

The hope of this program is to reduce traffic in and around Park City. It will cost Summit County approximately a million dollars to get the program up and going. Half of that money is paid for by a grant from UTA. Look for the program to start up in June or July.

5. This summer travel will be miserable between Kamas and Park City

In May, UDOT will be reconstructing Highway 248 from the 7-11 in Kamas to the Hospital in Park City. According to Summit County Transportation Manager Caroline Rodriquez, there will be some impact this summer. Expect lots of flags and lots of delays as the road may go down to one lane. Ms Rodriquez said that the county had been working with UDOT to try to limit impacts during holiday/event time periods.



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