City, county develop plan for future ownership of Lions Park
by Jeannine Wait
contributing writer
Jun 25, 2009 | 812 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lions Park, located along the southeastern edge of the Colorado River a few miles north of Moab, is currently serving as a staging area for the construction of the new U.S. 191 bridge. And while it’s difficult to envision the park’s future appearance while the area is covered with construction equipment, planning for an expanded area around Lions Park has been underway since 2001, with various partners and committees, city officials said during Tuesday’s Moab City Council meeting.

The Lions Park Planning Group (LPPG), which includes Moab city, Grand County, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, state Sovereign Lands, Trail Mix, Moab Trail Alliance and Lions Club, has been meeting for some time to discuss and develop a plan for the park’s future.

According to a recent letter from Moab City Manager Donna Metzler to the Moab Mayor Dave Sakrison and city council members, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been developed outlining the city’s and county’s intentions with respect to park ownership.

The MOU establishes roles and responsibilities for the parties involved in developing, operating and maintaining Lions Park, Trail and Transportation Hub, Metzler’s letter stated. 

The area includes approximately 156 acres located on the north and south banks of the Colorado River. Of this, five acres is owned by Utah Department of Transportation, and the rest of the land is owned by Grand County.

The agreement is not a formal interlocal agreement but it does address the city’s possible future ownership of the park, responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the park once it is improved, cooperation with Grand County for capital improvements funding, and administration of a planning design grant promised through the National Park Service, according to Metzler.

The Park Service is providing funding for a $100,000 design grant but those funds must be committed before the end of July, Metzler said. The city council must approve the draft MOU by the councils next meeting on July 14 in order to fulfill the requirements of the funding commitment, Metzler said.

“[The MOU is] the culmination of a long process of various entities working together,” Metzler said. “It will be a showpiece of the community.”

The Moab City Council plans to take up the matter at its July 14 meeting, council members said this week.

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