It's decision time for Millcreek township residents

Published: Saturday, Nov. 3 2012 4:00 p.m. MDT

Rumors have bubbled up throughout the campaign about the delivery of public safety services if voters agreed to form a city such as working jointly with a city that provides its own police services such as Cottonwood Heights, Love said 

"Those are the issue that scare me," Love said.

Silvestrini said such arguments are scare tactics by opponents of incorporation. Sixteen people — the original sponsors of the incorporation petition and members of the Future of Millcreek Association — committed in a letter to Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder and Chief Michael Jensen of the Unified Fire Authority to "continue to use the services of the UFA and the UPD."

"Citizens of Millcreek are very happy with these services. While final decisions will rest with the elected city council, we are confident that they will reach the same conclusion," the letter states,

In the final days of the campaign, both sides seem to be focused on tangible financial issues. Those opposed say there's no start-up funds for the city and sales tax projections in a 2011 consultants report paid for by Salt Lake County as required under state incorporation laws, forecast a 1 percent annual increase in sales tax revenues from 2011 through 2016. This suggests the new city would need to raise taxes or reduce services after a couple of years to keep pace with inflation.

Subsequent analysis by two members of the original consulting firm, paid for by residents in favor of incorporation, showed sales tax revenues showed actual revenues for 2011 climbed by 5 percent in 2011 and are projected to be even higher for the current year.

Considering the original report used data from 2010, the "bottom of the recession," Silvestrini said, "a 1 percent increase may have been a fair assumption then but that's not actually what's been the case."

Roger Dudley, another long-time Millcreek resident who oppposes incorporation, worries about about hidden costs of the change. As a city, Millcreek would be on the hook for $500,000 for a road construction project already under way along 2300 East.

“This is another example of the unintended – and expensive – consequences of incorporation and a rush to get this issue on the November ballot. What other undiscovered financial liabilities are out there, ready to be placed on the backs of Millcreek residents?,” he said.

Silvestrini says Millcreek City could receive state funds for its part of the match, no different than the county,

"To me, it’s a non-issue because it's just a question of who is writing the check."

For more information, Salt Lake County, in cooperation with proponents and opponents, has developed this website www.millcreekballot.com.

There are also websites for supporters of incorporation, CityofMillcreekUT.org and those opposed, www.notocityofmillcreek.org.

In compliance with Deseret News policy, comments will not be posted on political stories and editorials from now until the polls close Tuesday, Nov. 6.

E-mail: marjorie@desnews.com

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