A public hearing Dec. 8 on the incorporation of Bennion will help Salt Lake County commissioners determine whether to call a special election early in 1989 to let voters decide that issue for the third time in recent years.
The hearing, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Bennion Junior High School, 6055 S. 27th West, is the first of two opportunities area residents will have to air their views before commissioners take action on the proposal to make Bennion a city.The second hearing is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 21.
Commissioners must decide within two weeks following conclusion of the hearings whether to call an incorporation election, which would likely be scheduled next March or April.
In March of this year, voters in Taylorsville-Bennion turned thumbs down on a proposal to make that area a city.
But a new incorporation petition, with boundaries of the proposed city redrawn to include only the 19,000 residents of Bennion, began circulating soon after the March election and enough signatures were obtained to bring the issue before commissioners again.
Voters also rejected a 1982 attempt to incorporate Taylorsville-Bennion.
But incorporation backers say Bennion residents generally voted for incorporation last March, and were defeated by fewer than 400 votes of more than 6,000 cast. That's why they've decided to try incorporation again, this time proposing a smaller city.
The earliest date by which the 4.5-square-mile area could become Salt Lake Valley's newest city is July 1990.
The incorporation petition proposes Bennion boundaries generally from 54th South on the north, West Jordan (62nd South) on the south, Murray on the east and 40th West on the west.
But commissioners have the power to change those boundary proposals. And because the cities of Murray, West Jordan and West Valley have declared they are considering or will consider annexing parts of the proposed incorporation area, commissioners may redraw the proposed Bennion boundaries before calling an election.
Bennion generates more than enough tax revenue to cover the cost of providing services to its residents and has a relatively strong sales tax base, according to an incorporation feasibility study done for the county.
The study says property taxes for Bennion residents would generally drop from current levels if residents approve incorporation and the new city contracts with the county or with a neighboring city to provide municipal services to Bennion residents.
But property taxes would generally increase, as much as $187 yearly on an average Bennion home, if Bennion City were to provide those services itself, according to the study by Phase II Consulting.