The Hogle Zoo will have to wait another week to find out if the Salt Lake County Council will give it any mercy.
Last month the council voted to put a $65 million bond on the ballot in November to fund new exhibits at Hogle Zoo, but members included a major hurdle zoo officials must meet before seeing a penny of those funds: The zoo must raise $20 million in matching funds in little time.
Zoo officials think the fundraising mandate is unfair and nearly impossible to accomplish in two years.
Councilman Joe Hatch floated a proposal Tuesday to drop the bond question from the ballot, in the hopes that one of the Republicans would ease up a bit and present a different option.
Zoo officials want an arrangement where they would still be required to come up with the $20 million, but in installments. One idea is to require the zoo to come up with $10 million in private funds in order to receive $35 million in public money. Then zoo officials would have to raise another $10 million in matching funds before receiving the remaining $30 million from the public-approved property tax increase.
The zoo has already raised $7.3 million in private dollars.
Zoo officials want the money to build out their master plan, with a new arctic exhibit with polar bears and a parking structure atop the priority list.
If voters approve the zoo bond, property taxes would jump $10 a year for the next 15 years on a home valued at $235,000.
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