A committee studying concepts for a new Salt Lake arena that would be home to the Utah Jazz will hold a series of public meetings next month to hear comments from all interested parties before reporting to its parent task force.

The committee is one of four operating under direction of the Salt Palace Expansion Feasibility Task Force to study the possibility of constructing a new arena, additional convention facilities and an Olympic-size ice skating oval downtown.The public meetings, scheduled Aug. 2, 3 and 4 in the Salt Palace Little Theater, are to gather comments only on concepts for new facilities that may be proposed to the task force.

Public comment on questions of feasibility, cost, funding options, design, location and management structure of any new facilities will be sought later, said Larry Lunt, chairman of the task force's Concepts and Options Committee, which is holding the meetings.

The three sessions are open to the public, but speakers will address the committee during the Aug. 2 and 3 meetings by appointment only. The Aug. 4 session will be an open microphone hearing, during which anyone may comment.

The Aug. 2 and 3 meetings are scheduled from 3 to 6 p.m., while the Aug. 4 session is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m.

Comments heard at the meetings and written comments submitted through Aug. 9 will give the committee an idea what parties with a direct interest in a new arena feel is needed, Lunt said.

Organizations that will be invited to address the committee include the Jazz, the U.S. Winter Olympic Committee, the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau, and numerous governmental entities, business organizations and public- issues groups.

In addition, downtown landowners that could be affected by construction of a new arena will also be encouraged to comment.

Any group wanting to schedule time to comment during the public meetings should call Sharon Bresin at 534-6340. Those wanting to submit written comments only can mail them to Bresin at the Salt Palace, 100 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101.

The Concepts and Options Committee has until Aug. 31 to submit its report to the task force. In addition to seeking public comment, the committee is responsible for analyzing market data and determining the potential use of new facilities.

A Configurations and Costs Committee has a Sept. 30 deadline to report on possible locations for the new arena and other facilities and to estimate how much construction would cost.

A Finance Committee has been charged with exploring alternatives to pay for the projects without raising taxes, and reporting to the task force by Sept. 30. A Management Committee will determine by Oct. 15 how the new facilities should be managed.

The task force final report is to be submitted to the Salt Lake County Commission by Oct. 31.