Voters might settler Francis road spat |

Voters might settler Francis road spat

Francis resident Tal Adair wants voters in November to overturn a decision by the Town Council that vacates part of Hill Top Road in South Summit.

To help accommodate a 61-home development near State Road 32, the Francis Town Council voted 3-2 in February to vacate a stretch of Hill Top Road that connects to the highway.

Mayor John Bergen says he cast the deciding vote in favor of the proposal because, he agrees, the intersection is dangerous for drivers.

Critics of the mayor, however, say they question Bergen’s motives because car crashes are rare near Hill Top Road and S.R. 32. Bergen wasn’t immediately available for comment for this story.

"There has never, ever been an accident that we are aware of," Adair said. "Why close this road? Are they trying to protect us from ourselves?"

Historically, Hill Top Road was a trail ranchers used to move cattle. It skirts the southern edge of Francis near the Provo River.

"It’s been there as long as anybody can remember," Adair said.

A referendum on the ballot in November could ask voters if the decision to vacate the road for a developer should be overturned, Adair said.

"We just want the town people to be able to vote for it," he said.

Closing part of Hill Top Road will push more traffic onto Wild Willow Lane where developers plan hundreds of new homes, opponents claim.

"It’s such a drastic move that doesn’t accommodate what [Bergen] says he is doing," Francis resident Kristi Major said.

The intersection the mayor says is dangerous would still exist to serve homes near S.R. 32, she complained.

"[Bergen] is just closing a portion of Hill Top Road to accommodate developers," Major said. "There are other issues that have not been explored."

The resolution to vacate the road was approved by the Town Council Feb. 21, but the road may not close for several years, said Alison Weyher, a Francis planner.

In 2005, the population of Francis, which is situated south of Kamas near the Wasatch County line, was estimated at 836 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

"It’s a really interesting place," Weyher said. "It’s the last small town in Summit County that is just starting to go through the growth thing the Snyderville Basin went through."

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