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Burg eager to be a town

County likely to bestow official status in 2 weeks

Published: Monday, Nov. 1 2004 4:56 p.m. MST

An old school offers a touch of history to Fairfield's environs. Once, the community had a dozen saloons that catered to soldiers at nearby Camp Floyd.

Tom Smart, Deseret Morning News

FAIRFIELD — The one-time boomtown once known by locals as Frogtown is just over two weeks away from becoming an official town.

That Cedar Valley community — now called Fairfield — could reach town status when the Utah County Commissioners vote Nov. 16 on a measure that would give it that designation.

Commissioners, for their part, appear ready to vote in favor of Fairfield's incorporation, to be effective Dec. 30.

"I haven't seen any reason not to do this," said Commissioner Steve White.

Commissioner Gary Herbert said he's not going to make a decision until the November meeting. "But as long as the people out there are aware of the situation and the possible costs, then why not? I believe in local control. That's kind of been our philosophy."

Herbert was a little concerned when a study that examined the feasibility of incorporation showed Fairfield folks would see a tax increase to pay for services being provided by the Utah County government. But the man who expects to be mayor by the end of the year said he doesn't believe that will be necessary.

Lynn Gillies, elected by an informal balloting of the area's 137 residents, said there is a good amount of acreage, including an LDS Church welfare farm now being leased out and some private farmland that has been tax-exempt, that will now be taxed.

"I don't think we're going to have to have a tax increase," Gillies said.

Gillies also said he has been working with the League of Cities and Towns and with mapping experts to resolve problems that could be caused by the old building plans filed in 1863 with the federal government.

People started coming to Fairfield during the Civil War. At the time, it was only three blocks long but had more than a dozen saloons that catered to the 3,500 soldiers at nearby Camp Floyd.

That plat laid out the roads and rights-of-way for Fairfield if it had incorporated then — roads that would now cut right through homes in some instances.

Since it did not incorporate, that plat needs to be nullified by a state court judge.

Working out issues with the court is a long process that can't be started until commissioners vote in favor or allowing Fairfield to incorporate.

"I expect that to be resolved," Gillies said.

Gillies said he and the four others on the Town Council — R.L. Panek, Mike Burch, Wayne Taylor and David Hansen.— plan to hold town meetings in the Historic Fairfield School which will also serve as Town Hall.

Gillies, a retired U.S. Army officer, is already being asked to attend government meetings to represent Fairfield. Neighbors are starting to tell him their concerns about the town.

"I think in as small a community as this everybody's voice can be heard. They can all get their say, and that's the key," he said. "I think everyone's excited."


E-mail: haddoc@desnews.com

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