Officials on Monday asked residents for support of a Sept. 13 bond proposal to improve the city's storm drainage system.
More than 100 residents attended the Fruit Heights town meeting, which was held in Nicholls Road Park, and many residents took advantage of the opportunity, bringing picnic dinners.The city needs $260,000 in bond money to fulfill obligations to handle its storm runoff water, councilman David Barton said. The city has $100,000 on hand, Barton said, but needs a total of about $350,000 to build a runoff collection system and detention basins.
The city has agreements with Kaysville dating back more than a decade and with the county signed during the 1983-84 flood periods to contain and channel its runoff, Mayor Dean Brand said.
Those agreements need to be fulfilled, he said, which means either a bond issue, property tax hike or franchise tax. A bond issue would be cheapest, the mayor said.
Barton said if the bonds are paid off over 15 years, it will cost the average Fruit Heights homeowner about $31 a year. In addition to getting a lower interest rate by selling bonds, adding the cost to property taxes will also spread the cost more equitably, Barton said. Absentee property owners who would not pay a franchise tax will pay the additional property tax.
Barton said the city needs to do more extensive storm drain work than the $350,000 in projects outlined at the meeting, but impact fees being charged to developers and
home builders should cover future costs.
Although some residents appeared uncertain about the additional property taxes, others who live west of U.S. 89 and who deal with flooded streets and high runoff during storms support the measure.
Projects that need to be done, Councilman Richard Muhlestein explained, include enlarging and improving the Haight Creek detention basin, construction of a detention pond on the Burton Lane Elementary School grounds, construction of a detention basin near Dry Hollow and improvement of the city's storm water collection system.
Most of the projects are planned in cooperation with other political entities, Muhlestein said, such as Kaysville, the county, the school district, and irrigation districts, which will also share some of the costs.
Other issues covered during the hourlong town meeting included the study and possible safety improvements on U.S. 89, improvements in Nicholls Park, and the effect of tax limitation initiatives on the city's budget and services.