EAGLE MOUNTAIN Eagle Mountain residents who want to take a ride on their mountain bikes over rough terrain but don't want to spend money on gas to get to the nearest canyon will soon be able to stay in their own backyard.
The Eagle Mountain City Council approved a mountain bike park Tuesday that will include three trails and a separate area for jumps. City officials set aside $25,000 in their fiscal year 2009 budget to help pay for the park, said John Hendrickson.
The total cost for the park will be $45,000 to $50,000. The rest of the cost will be met by the Ranches Homeowners Association and other private parties who donated the money, he said.
Darin Garrett, a local builder and a member of the Ranches Homeowners Association planning committee, originally approached the city in March about the park. The Wasatch Area Freeride Trailbuilders Association will build the park with volunteers and will maintain the park for at least one year, but Eagle Mountain will own the park.
"We felt it was not a big issue for us," Hendrickson said. "Most parks you have to mow and have children's playgrounds. Volunteers will improve that or help us maintain that."
About eight people attended the meeting to oppose the park, according to the city recorder's records. Most of them were concerned about the number of people the park would bring into the city. Residents in the subdivision the park will border voiced their concerns about the park being in their back yard.
Councilwoman Donna Burnham said the park will be beneficial for the numerous teenagers in the city who don't have other parks that are geared toward them.
"Our sports programs end at 13 years of age," she said. "I felt this park represented a good way for us to give this age group something to do that's positive."
It was a difficult decision for her because some residents opposed it, she said.
"We need to balance the needs of the few to the needs of the many," she said.
Councilman Nathan Ochsenhirt said he received fewer than 10 e-mails from people who were against the park but received more than 100 from people in support of it. He also said it was a difficult decision because he has several good friends living in the Castle Rock neighborhood who were against it, but because so many people wanted the park he voted for it.
"These parks have consistently proven to be a great asset to their communities," he said.
Eagle Mountain's average age of 13 created a need for parks, which is one reason Councilman David Lifferth voted for the bike park.
"I think because of the demographic of our community ... we need to have a lot of different recreational opportunities," he said.
Hendrickson said the council still has to sign an agreement with the trail builders association for maintenance specifying which group will be responsible for different issues.
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