Business owners on Layton's Main Street are balking at paying $200 a year as their share of maintenance on landscaping and parking lots, saying the city and state did the project and should maintain it.

The city's Main Street, a state highway, was rebuilt in the downtown area in 1986-87, with landscaping strips and off-street parking lots constructed.The city wants the business owners on the east side of Main Street to contribute $200 a year as their share of maintaining the planting strips and plowing the parking lots in winter.

Economic Development Director Scott Carter said he thought the city and the 30 businesses involved had worked out an agreement in 1985 before reconstruction began, but when bills were sent out recently none of the firms paid and the complaints began coming in.

A meeting between the business owners and City Council was held recently to try to work out a new agreement, but no consensus was reached.

The business owners say the improvement was a joint city-state proj-ect and the landscape strips and parking lots are either state or city property, and those entities should be responsible for their maintenance.

The city's position is that it has already spent $70,000 on the project, which directly benefits the businesses along the street, and they should be willing to contribute a share.

The businesses would have to pay to have their private parking lots plowed anyway, Carter said, and the city is already assuming the financial burden of collecting the yearly fees and administering the maintenance program.

Carter estimates summer and winter maintenance will cost $6,300 a year. Dividing that figure by the 30 businesses on the east side of Main Street brings the cost to $200 per business annually.

If an agreement can't be reached and the businesses still refuse to pay a share, City Manager Bruce Barton said a mandatory assessment may be levied or the city has the option of installing parking meters to generate revenue.