A vote to form the town of Erda may be on November’s ballot for residents of the proposed new municipality.
A feasibility study for the incorporation of Erda prepared by Zions Public Finance Inc. was released this week. The report was initiated by a group of Erda residents in compliance with procedures in state code for incorporating a new municipality.
The report contains some good news for the incorporate Erda movement, according to Kalem Sessions, one of the study’s citizen sponsors.
“The report indicates there is the opportunity for taxes to go down for the same level of service if we incorporate,” Sessions said.
The report’s executive summary reads, “Incorporation is feasible and would not place an additional tax burden on property owners in the proposed incorporation area.”
The report indicates that the impact on property taxes for a $250,000 home in the proposed city boundaries (see accompanying map) would be a savings of $18.68 for the first year of the new city.
The impact on property taxes in the new city would remain on the positive side, a net savings, for the first five years — the time period covered by the study.
Erda City would have an initial population of 2,927 persons with 29 businesses located within the city’s 43.27 square miles. The study based future population growth on historic trends, which approximate 32 new residential building permits per year, according to the study.
The proposed city area, at an estimated 2019 median household income of $89,080, has a higher median household income than the rest of Tooele County and local communities.
The estimated 2019 median household income for all of Tooele County is $68,348, according to the study.
The study includes a five-year estimate of revenue and expenses. Grantsville City provided a cost estimate of providing law enforcement to the new city.
“The study shows that if incorporated we may reduce our taxes and be able to uphold our ideals we have as a rural community,” Sessions said.
The news about the property tax impact was good, but there is more than just taxes driving the incorporation movement, according to Sessions.
“If incorporated the government will be closer to the people,” he said. “We will have the opportunity to be in control of our own destiny. We know growth will occur, but decisions about that growth will be made by people tied to the community. We have been concerned about some of the spot zoning that we have seen from the county.”
The next step toward incorporation is for the Lieutenant Governor’s office to hold two public meetings to discuss the feasibility study. The time and place for those meetings should be announced soon, Sessions said.
According to state code, the public will have a chance to hear a presentation on the complete findings of the study, ask questions about the study, and express their thoughts and opinions.
After the public meetings, Sessions said the citizen sponsors of the study will begin collecting signatures of registered voters within the proposed city boundaries, with an eye on putting incorporation of Erda on the November 2020 ballot.
The incorporation sponsors will need to collect signatures of at least 10% of the proposed city’s registered voters to be successful.
The complete Erda Incorporation Feasibility study can be accessed through a link on the Facebook page, Incorporate Erda.