MENDON – Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Cache County Recreation, Arts, Parks and Zoos (RAPZ) Tax revenues, the city of Mendon will soon begin work to construct a new trailhead.
Mendon officials have been working with Cache County’s Trails Department to find solutions for a trail that has been overwhelmed due to its popularity.
That effort has included raising funds to construct a new trailhead to allow hikers to more safely access the Wellsville Mountain Wildlife Area, the Deep Canyon Trail and the family-friendly Wayne Loop Trail.
“We had heard from so many county residents who love those trails and wanted to be able to regain access to the area,” according to County Executive David Zook, “as well as several others who were negatively impacted by their popularity.
“Thanks to the hard work and collaboration between our Trails Department and several community partners, this amenity will soon be back and better than ever.”
On May 10, the members of the Cache County Council approved grants of $2.8 million from the county’s RAPZ/Restaurant Tax revenues.
Cache County has collected a 1 percent sales tax on prepared food since 1992 to fund support for tourism, recreation and the cultural arts. The RAPZ (Recreation, Arts, Parks and Zoos) tax — which is a tenth of 1 percent sales tax — was added in 2002 to support capital projects and the operating expenses of local recreational venues.
Tax revenues were about $3.2 million this year. After weighing 69 requests totaling more than $5.5 million, the council approved 58 of them.
The Deep Canyon Trailhead request from Mendon City was only one of 16 grants that was fully funded.
Zook said that sufficient funding has now been secured for the new Deep Canyon Trailhead project to move ahead.
That funding includes the grant from the RAPZ tax revenue, plus two others from the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation and the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Those funds will be combined with others already secured from the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation – Russell Family and the Secure Rural School Program through the U.S. Forest Service.
“We’ve been working closely with the Mendon City Council and their Trails Committee for the past year,” said Carly Lanshce, the county’s Regional Trail and Active Transportation coordinator.
“We have also received a lot of support from the community throughout this process and look forward to improving access to the area for generations to come.”
Lanshce said the funding received will support a new trailhead with better vehicle access, a larger parking lot and restrooms. The project’s goals are to reduce environmental impacts, safely accommodate trail users and support reopening of the Wayne’s Loop Trail.
Zook said that the total project cost is estimated to be at least $760,000. Due to increasing costs for material and labor, ongoing donations can be made to support the trailhead project through the Cache Community Foundation via check, VENMO or online at http://arco.is/bLaDj
Construction of the new Deep Canyon Trailhead is planned for summer of 2023.