Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

May 8, 2014
Lake Point: county’s newest city?

Group secures enough signatures for feasibility study on incorporation 

Tooele County may see the emergence of two new cities.

Travelers that pull off of Interstate 80 at the northeast corner of the county will be greeted by Lake Point City if the latest attempt to incorporate the 160-year-old community is successful.

A group of Stansbury Park residents is also working on an incorporation request.

Lake Point residents successfully completed the first hurdle in the incorporation process when Tooele County Clerk Marilyn Gillette presented the county commission with a certified request for an incorporation feasibility study from Lake Point property owners at Tuesday’s commission meeting.

After the meeting Tuesday night, a group of Stansbury residents met in the hallway of the county building for an impromptu meeting to discuss their incorporation efforts.

The group discussed the need to complete their boundary map so they can begin collecting signatures.

For Lake Point, those signatures have already been obtained. “We want to control our own destiny,” said Jim Willes, Lake Point resident, who is a sponsor of the incorporation request.

To initiate a feasibility study, a group of at least five property owners must get signatures from owners of at least 10 percent of the land and 7 percent of the total value of all the land in the proposed new city.

“I can’t remember how many signatures we collected on the study request,” Willes said. “But we exceeded the requirements. We had signatures of 50 percent of the property owners representing 48 percent of the total land value.”

State law requires the incorporation feasibility study request to be accompanied by a map of the proposed boundaries of the new city. That map must be prepared by a licensed surveyor along with a description of the area to be incorporated.

All signatures must be from property owners within the proposed boundaries and five of the signers must be designated as sponsors.

Along with Willes, the sponsors of the Lake Point incorporation feasibility study included Kevin Astill, Dan Crawford, Mark Steinagel, and James McConnell.

The proposed Lake Point City runs from the I-80 exit at Lake Point to approximately one-quarter mile south of the stop light at the intersection of SR-36 and state Route 138. It extends from the Union Pacific railroad on the east side of SR-36 to the railroad right-of-way on the north side of I-80.

If incorporated as proposed in the request, Lake Point City will be 4,824 acres in size, or about 7.5 square miles, and hold $71.3 million in assessed property value.

Willes said the city will have a population of around 1,200 to 1,300 people, making it close in population to Wendover, Utah, which had 1,400 residents according to the 2010 U.S. census.

“Initially it was the county’s proposed municipal services tax that got people talking,” said Willes. “But the more we talked, the more we realized that growth is coming and we want to determine the future of Lake Point.”

With the feasibility study certified, the next steps towards incorporation include the selection of a consultant, completion of a study of costs and revenue, public hearings, and then a petition for an incorporation election.

The county commission has 60 days to engage a consultant to prepare the feasibility study. The consultant has 90 days after being hired to prepare the study.

The feasibility study must include a five-year projection of revenue and costs for the new city, including projections for growth and inflation, according to state law.

The expenses must assume the same level of government services the area currently receives, including water, sewer, law enforcement, fire protection, roads and public works, garbage collection, weeds and government offices.

If the study determines the average annual amount of revenue does not exceed the average annual amount of costs by more than 5 percent, the county commission must schedule two public hearings within the boundaries of the new city for the study’s findings to be presented to the public.

If the study does not find the average annual amount of revenue will exceed the average annual amount of costs by more than 5 percent, then the quest for incorporation ends, unless the study finds a way to tweak the proposed boundaries to meet the financial requirement.

Within one year following the public hearings a petition for incorporation can be filed with the county clerk.

The petition must have the signature of at least 10 percent of the total registered voters in the proposed new city including 10 percent of the voters from 90 percent of the voting precincts.

Lake Point had a feasibility study completed 13 years ago, according to Willes.

“The previous study showed we were really close to being able to cover expenses with our revenue,” he said. “But after a while the people lost interest.”

This time, Willes said, things are different.

“People are lot more excited about this,” he said. “And we have had lot of commercial growth, so the numbers should look better.”

The decision to incorporate either Lake Point or Stansbury Park and the boundaries are up to the people that live in the community, according to Tooele County Commission Chairman Bruce Clegg.

“We don’t want to influence them,” he said. “We need to do the study and let them decide.”

tgillie@tooeletranscript.com

 

Tim Gillie

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim covers education, Tooele City government, business, real estate, politics and the state Legislature. He became a journalist after a long career as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America. Tim is a native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University.

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