Bennion is probably in the best financial position of any community in Salt Lake County to incorporate, an analyst says.
About 100 Bennion residents attended a public hearing Thursday night in the Bennion Junior High School auditorium to hear what's at stake and what is possible with incorporation.The Salt Lake County Commission will decide after two public hearings whether to call a special election next spring for voters to voice their opinions on a third incorporation bid.
Taylorsville-Bennion residents last March defeated a proposal to incorporate the area; a 1982 incorporation bid for the area also failed.
"The reason (residents sought incorporation) was not dissatisfaction with Salt Lake County. The reason stems with differences between a county and a city and the problems that occur" in providing services to various areas, said Denis Morrill, an incorporation proponent.
"It seems to be much simpler to us as residents to control our destiny," Morrill told county commissioners at the meeting.
"Incorporation is definitely economically feasible. There are some difficult moments, especially in the first year" as the city's operations are organized, said Dwight Ellingwood, an analyst with Phase II Consulting, which prepared the feasibility study.
Those difficulties include funding services. Officials of the new city must decide whether to have services provided through a contract with the county or another community, or provide its own services.
Frugality saved West Valley City, Ellingwood said. It spent wisely during the first year after incorporating and deciding to have services provided by the city rather than contracting with the county or Salt Lake City.
"In terms of any area that has been studied in Salt Lake County, Bennion is in one of the best positions to do that because of its sales tax revenue," he said.
The 4.5-square-mile area generated $2.7 million in taxes during the 1987-88 fiscal year, the analyst said. The tab for county-provided services was $2.5 million.
More than 60 businesses are located within the boundaries of Bennion, which had an estimated population in 1980 of 14,700, or 3,245 people per square mile. If voters OK incorporation, it would be the most densely populated city in the county.
The proposed city would run from 54th South on the north, West Jordan (62nd South) on the south, Murray on the east and 40th West on the west.