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AM Brief: PCMR upgrades approved, Utah’s poor access to preschool & Virgin River reservations

Recently renovated campground site at the Virgin River Canyon Campground.
Recently renovated campground site at the Virgin River Canyon Campground.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Northern Utah

Clearfield development aims to get more people using public transit

City leaders in Clearfield broke ground Monday on a major project they hope will cut down on driving and get more people to use public transit. Officials envision the roughly 65-acre site as a mixed-use development with 1,000 units of housing, retail and office space, plus parks and entertainment. Its strategic location next to a Frontrunner train station will connect it to the state’s existing public transit network. These kinds of “transit-oriented developments” can make people more likely to get out of their cars, said Andrew Gruber, executive director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council. He said areas like Salt Lake City and Ogden have seen transportation shifts by concentrating jobs and attractions near housing, both to trains and buses as well as walking and biking. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Park City approves Park City Mountain Resort upgrades

After a four-hour meeting Monday, the Park City Planning Department approved Park City Mountain Resort’s plans to upgrade two chairlifts and make other changes. Roughly 20 community members spoke at the meeting. KPCW reported many were concerned a new parking system would overwhelm the mountain’s capacity. But the resort contended a $25/day system at the base area parking lot would reduce parking by 11%. People who own or live in condos at the base area were also worried about noise, privacy and other impacts. The resort agreed to move the Eagle Chair loading zone to 30 feet away from the condos and add better environmental impact mitigations. Construction is set to begin this summer. — Carolyn Murray, KPCW


Access to high-quality preschool in Utah fell during pandemic

Access to high-quality early childhood education in Utah dropped during the pandemic, according to a State of Preschool report released Tuesday. In the 2020-2021 school year, the state spent roughly $1,878,272 on pre-K, down $5,192,059 since the year before. State spending per child enrolled equaled $902, one of the lowest rates in the country. The state also met only three out of 10 quality benchmarks. That’s because it lacked requirements for vision, hearing and health screenings; and teachers didn’t have to specialize in pre-K, among other unmet standards. — Leah Treidler


Colorado bill could extend parental leave for lawmakers

A Colorado bill would give state lawmakers 12 weeks of paid parental leave. If the measure passes, the state will be the first in the country to codify such benefits for its legislators. Nevada and Colorado are number one and two in the nation for the percentage of women state lawmakers. Jean Sinzdak, with the Center for American Women and Politics, said strong female representation in Western states reflects a legacy of women’s suffrage and participation. Still, Utah ranks 37th for its proportion of women in the state legislature. — Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

New reservation system at Virgin River Campground

Visitors to the Virgin River Campground around 20 miles southwest of St. George can now reserve campsites online. Arizona Strip Field Manager Lorraine Christian said that’s because of a recent uptick in visitors, and the new system will “give visitors peace of mind knowing their vacation plans are in place ahead of time.” All reservable sites will become available May 1 for camping starting June 1. — Leah Treidler

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