Acting on a request by residents with wells running dry, the Layton City Council Thursday annexed 1,200 acres of rural west Layton into the city.

The next step is to organize a special improvement district to install waterlines, the council agreed.Residents of the area, most along 3200 West, approached the city last fall as their wells began to dry up. They requested annexation for access to city culinary water.

To bring them into the city and annex the parcels needed for installation of the water mains, it was necessary to annex the area between 1200 West and 3200 West, from 500 South to 1000 North, community development director Scott Carter said.

The annexation petition contains signatures of 100 of the 190 property owners affected, with $5.3 million of the total $8.7 million in assessed valuation of the parcel, he said.

That gave the city a majority of the property owners and more than one-third of the total assessed valuation, as required by state law, Carter said.

Several affected property owners, however, appeared at the Thursday public hearing to protest the annexation, telling the council they'd never been consulted or notified.

Although final figures haven't been drawn up yet, the special improvement district that will be formed to pay for extension of the water system could cost large landowners several thousand dollars each, they said.

Most of the area is rural or agricultural and is expected to stay that way for several years because of the dearth of other utilities, Carter said.

Hearing the protest of some landowners, Mayor James Layton recommended the council table the motion or reduce the size of the parcel.

But the council rejected his advice, voting unanimously to annex the land.

Councilman Bob Stevenson said the city didn't initiate the annexation and the council is only reacting to the request from the residents. Annexing the area will only increase property tax revenue to the city by about $15,000, Stevenson said, so the city doesn't gain much by adding it.

Information on the special improvement district, including the cost for landowners, will be drawn up and distributed by the city. The council set a public hearing on formation of the district for 7 p.m. Thursday, June 20.