Access isn't everything, but it sure helps.

And Pleasant Grove's access to I-15 is the subject of recent debate.K.A. Driggs, Pleasant Grove budget and finance director, said the city needs a direct access to the interstate.

"I think it would enhance the value of any property in the city," he said. "But especially the business property near the exits and entrances to the freeway seem to be most attractive to those who want to invest."

Max Blackham was appointed chairman of a small committee that will investigate the possibilities of getting direct access to I-15 constructed. The freeway does not go through Pleasant Grove, and no specific sites for an interchange have been proposed.

"We thought that everyone knew what we were doing, but when we invited representatives of the Utah Department of Transportation to Pleasant Grove to investigate the matter, they said they had never been approached before," Blackham said. His committee was incredulous.

Blackham said the city has been discussing the situation for years, but it seems as if no one knows exactly how to proceed.

Blackham said his committee is "sleeping" right now until it can get 100 percent support from the City Council.

But City Councilwoman Mary West said that support may be a little slow in coming, because she is not really concerned about a new freeway access for the city.

Not because she doesn't think an access wouldn't be a good idea, West said, but "let's tend to the immediate needs of Pleasant Grove."

Driggs said some people don't want the interchange because there is an attitude that "we must protect the city," but Pleasant Grove needs more help toward economic growth.

West said she is not so sure the access would help economically.

"The reality would be to upgrade the Geneva Road so it is less hazardous for traffic," West said. "It would take a long time and cost the city a whole lot to get the access, but we could work on Geneva Road now."

Geneva Road is Pleasant Grove's access from the I-15 Lindon exit.

Ideas are still being tossed around, but Driggs said he believes the lack of 1-15 access has been a detriment to the city's economic expansion efforts.

"Until economic growth becomes priority No. 1, it will never be more than meetings or talk," Blackham said.

"Right now, under the most favorable circumstances, the Department of Transportation said it will take 10 to 15 years to get the access," Driggs said.

"But if we could make the right connections politically, it would really speed up the process," he said.

The city is doing some exploratory work into possible locations, so some planning work will be done.

Blackham said other cities that have smaller populations than Pleasant Grove have one and some even two accesses to the freeway.

There should be no problem in Pleasant Grove's request, he said. "Maybe we need to make our overtures to the Department of Transportation a little more noticeable."