Some landscaping and cosmetic improvements will be made to the city's water storage tank on Ward Road, the Kaysville City Council promised residents this week, but the site will not be turned into the minipark they requested.

The residents say the tank area is unsightly and attracts vandals. Making it into a minipark with recreational facilities and attracting the public would turn it into an asset, they told the council.After more than an hour of discussion, the council and residents reached a compromise: The city will landscape and maintain the area and shelve plans to fence the tank site off completely. But it will not be upgraded to a minipark and no tennis courts, basketball hoops or picnic tables will be built.

Like most compromises, both sides felt a little uneasy about the final agreement.

City Engineer Lee Cammack said vandalism at the tank site and a letter from the county health department prompted his proposal that the tank site be sealed off completely with a security fence.

The city wants to protect its water supply from pollution or contamination by vandals, Cammack said.

Residents said the area is already a popular recreation site, with the 300 or more children in the neighborhood playing there in the summer and sledding on the hill in the winter.

Improving the site and opening it for public use, combined with neighbors keeping an eye on it, would eliminate vandalism, several residents told the council.

Mayor Gerald Purdy said the theory is good, agreeing that vandalism at the city cemetery decreased sharply after it was opened for use by joggers and walkers.

And Councilman Beck Sheffield, an elementary school principal, said nighttime vandalism at schools has all but stopped since they were opened to the community, hosting night meetings and other public functions.

But the council agreed, the tank was not designed to be a park site.

Neighbors said a fence around the site will do no good and would only detract from its appearance. Kids will always figure out a way to get over or under one, they said. And a fence "would be ugly and we'd hate it," one told the council.

It is not feasible or cost effective to cover the tank with concrete or asphalt and turn it into a tennis or basketball court, Councilwoman Carol Page said.

She appeared uncomfortable with leaving the tank unfenced, saying the city would open itself to liability problems if the water supply was contaminated, resulting in sickness or fatalities to any residents, especially after being warned by the county health department.

And, she said, the money spent on recreational facilities on the site would be better spent on another, larger park that would serve more residents.

Cammack said city plans to improve the tank site and pave portions of Ward Road have been disrupted by this summer's drought. Paving was to be done this summer, he said.

But now the city, in response to the drought, is planning to install larger intake pipes on the tank, along with others in east Kaysville. That will involve tearing up the road and site work around the tank, he said.

The city prefers to do that work after the irrigation season in the fall, when water use is down to minimize service interruptions.

Paving will be done after the pipe is installed, he said, and because the asphalt must be poured in warm weather, the paving will have to be put off until next summer.

But after the pipe is installed, city crews will landscape around the tank, he said, and maintain it in the future.