City approves application for Lions Park enhancement grant
by Charli Engelhorn
contributing writer
Jan 21, 2010 | 1128 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Moab City Council last week unanimously approved a resolution of support and commitment for the Lions Park Trail and Transit Hub transportation enhancement grant application to the Utah Department of Transportation. The application, presented by the Moab City Community Development Department, headed by Dave Olsen, would allow for improvements to Lions Park, including installing paths and trails, a restroom, bike racks, signs, and some landscaping.

The application is for $500,000, and Moab has made the first round of cuts in communities vying for the funding, city officials said last week. Support from the council for the application means the city commits to matching 20 percent of the grant money, totaling $120,000; abiding by Federal Aid Highway requirements for environmental standards, labor and civil rights laws, and utility clearances and design, if necessary; paying all budget overruns accrued during the project; reimbursing UDOT and the Federal Highway Association for all funding if the project is terminated; paying all permit and inspection fees; ensuring the readiness of the project for bidding within 24 months of the time the application is submitted; maintaining the integrity of the project once completed and taking legal responsibility for the project; and guaranteeing project completion and functionality for ease of use by the public.

Those commitments are required by UDOT in order to make the application viable, according to city officials. The conditions are in place to make certain a community has the ability to follow through with the desired project if granted the funds. Moab is among five communities submitting applications.

City council members discussed the issues surrounding the financial commitment and agreed that it was important to get behind and support the project.

“It’s the main entranceway to the city,” said councilmember Kyle Bailey. “I think it’s important for it to look nice and be maintained well.”

In discussions before the vote, council members expressed concern over the possibility of the project costs going over budget and the city’s responsibility to cover those costs. However, Olsen said that the state of Utah enforces rigorous cost analyses for each community when applying for grant money to avoid unforeseen costs.

“Moab is great at avoiding cost overrun,” said Moab City Manager Donna Metzler. “We take a lot of care and precaution before a project begins to account for costs that exceed the budget.”

Olsen also noted that there were numerous parts to the project that could be cut if it seemed likely the costs would reach the grant limit.

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