Incorporation on future agenda
March 8, 2013
The Summit County Council debated during Wednesday’s work session whether the county should take the lead in gathering information about a possible incorporation of the Snyderville Basin into a municipality, or if the County Council should wait for citizens to potentially initiate the process through a petition.
During a previous discussion, Chief Civil Deputy Attorney Dave Thomas said an official process to incorporate the Snyderville Basin would have to be initiated by citizens, but that the county could informally gather information.
"We were thinking of getting a group from the community together to study what the pros and cons are," Councilmember Claudia McMullin said concerning previous discussions.
Councilmember Kim Carson said she preferred to wait until citizens form a group and initiate the process themselves.
"I think as far as the things we have to tackle right now, we have quite a bit, and I’m afraid that would take resources away from what we have to accomplish," she said. "But I think it’s worth getting information from Dave, and get a report on what it takes so that we can educate our citizens on the process."
McMullin countered that without knowing the pros and cons of incorporating the Basin, she has no basis for an opinion.
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"But I also know that I live in a place that looks like a city and acts like a city, but is not a city and we provide municipal services. But we’re not providing them at the level we should because we don’t have the money," she said.
McMullin said she would like to know, for example, what the costs and benefits would be to incorporate.
"A feasibility study costs a lot of money and nobody knows if the community even has an interest in it," she said. "But in order to know if you have an interest, you should know some facts. But just to go with a petition and feasibility study to trigger the process doesn’t get you the answers."
At a minimum, McMullin said, the county should at least discuss the issue with the community to determine if there is interest.
"Because there is no point in going forward if no one is interested," she said. "Of course, if no one is interested, they won’t file a petition in the first place. But there’s no basis on which to have an opinion if you don’t know what the pros and cons are."
Councilmember Chris Robinson pointed out that if the Snyderville Basin were to incorporate, the county would have substantially less work to do.
Robinson suggested Thomas take time at a future County Council meeting to explain the rules of incorporation to citizens.
"I agree with Kim, we do have a lot on our plate," he said. "If we have a meeting, people can decide whether they want to be incorporators, and get signatures and feasibility studies."
County Manager Bob suggested the County Council take it "one step at a time."
"We’ll have Dave come in and make a presentation. And then we’ll go from there," he said.
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