Major changes in mostly rural west Davis County are under way, municipal officials were told Wednesday, with a new county jail, fairgrounds, and four-lane highway either under construction or on the drawing boards.

Members of the Davis County Council of Governments were shown a mockup of the county's new 400-bed jail and court complex under construction on 100 acres west of Farmington. Also on display was a preliminary drawing of a new county fairgrounds complex, proposed for construction adjacent to the jail.The COG members - mayors and city administrators of the 15 cities in the county - also agreed to begin completing plans for the proposed West Davis Highway, a four-lane highway connecting western Weber and Salt Lake counties through Davis County.

County planner Wilf Sommerkorn said several highway routes have been studied over the past decade, but an exact alignment, including a legal description, needs to be agreed upon for submission to the state to be eligible for federal or state construction money.

The highway's right of way must be designated so development around it can be controlled and environmental and access studies can begin, Sommerkorn told the mayors. Once the route is officially determined, development proposals on adjacent land can be controlled through existing subdivision ordinances and planning commissions, he said.

The route being proposed would start at Redwood Road at the Salt Lake County line, running west of I-15 to Centerville, then veering west along the existing Denver & Rio Grande Railroad tracks and eventually connecting to Bluff Road in west Layton and Syracuse, then north to the Weber County line.

Davis County Commissioner Harold Tippetts said the D&RG has filed for abandoment of its rail line and the county could pick up the right of way, which runs on the west side of the 100 acres on which the county is building its new jail and court complex.

The new highway, plus federally funded improvements to State Street through Farmington to the site, will give good access to the area, Tippetts said.

Tippetts also showed the mayors a proposed new fairgrounds for the site, including a horse-racing track, indoor and outdoor arenas, and stables and other auxiliary facilities.