Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

January 18, 2023
Rebuttal in favor of dissolving Erda 

As usual, Tim Gillie gave his usual exceptional treatment to my effort to disincorporate the City of Erda. I would like to thank him and the Transcript for their typical fair handed reporting style. I would however like to rebut a few official statements from the City of Erda:

1) The City of Erda truly is functionally bankrupt. They do not have a tax base of businesses and some of the councilmen have been heard stating they don’t want business growth. They got by this year with a $200,000 “somewhat extorted” (in my opinion) “fee” from the Oquirrh Point (OP) developers. These are the very same developers they fought to keep out of Erda. They tried hard to kill their own savior. Lucky they did not succeed otherwise I would be using terms such as Pyrrhic Victory. 

The official City of Erda commented that: “While it is true that the council is being very frugal with the city dollars, we have plenty to run the city.” Is disingenuous at best and a bit of a mendacious spin in my opinion. Plenty? What will you do when that OP welfare money runs out? Please… (Anyone remember when the federal chemical incineration money ran out)?

2) The county charges a 15% administrative fee for policing services. The official word from Erda is as follows: “These contracted services from the county are less costly and of better service than the city can provide separately,” 

OK, better service is a no brainer. The Tooele County Sheriff’s Department is known for their high standards and quality of services. 

No doubt Erda hiring their own police department would probably be rife with troubles rivaling scenes from the Dukes of Hazzard. 

While that is my hyperbolic opinion they actually started out with such a strong souring of the relationship with the County that the County was not going to offer ANY services to Erda. Thanks to Councilman Craig Smith, oil was poured upon the waters and some of the hurtful comments hurled at Tooele County council members by other Erda City Council members were taken back and apologies were offered. 

Craig helped mend that bridge and make County policing possible, but that does not address the fact that just because the county can do it for less than Erda can do it itself, does not mean it is not an additional burden on the taxpayers. 

That 15% fee is something that did not exist when we were unincorporated Tooele County. So exactly how does Tooele County get paid this fee? Erda City says: “at no higher cost to their citizens”. Hmmm, really… Am I the only one that doubts this magic math?

3) The City of Erda shuns any comment with respect to the fact that the incorporation sponsor’s raison d’etre was to prevent growth and shut down developers and development. OK. But the existence of this city actually guarantees high density growth. Federal law will soon enforce this high density. The very thing they claim they were going to prevent is guaranteed to happen now. 

That would not be true if this area would go back to being unincorporated Tooele County. 

Chuck McCown

Lake Point

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