Citing a possible conflict of interest with a Great Salt Lake development project, Davis County Republican Party chairman Steve Smoot announced his resignation Tuesday at a GOP central committee meeting.

Smoot is involved in a project to dike the eastern shore of the Great Salt Lake, turning it eventually into a fresh water lake similar to the Willard Bay recreation area.Smoot said in his resignation letter the project, called the Lake Wasatch Coalition, will require some state funding or support such as enabling legislation. Lobbying the legislature for money would conflict with his party duties, Smoot said.

Smoot, a Farmington resident, has been vice-chairman and chairman of the Davis party for four years. His resignation will be effective Feb. 17, he said.

Smoot said he will be asking legislators and other state officials for support of the diking project over the next several months and "I want each elected representative to consider the Lake Wasatch project solely on its merits without being concerned about any ulterior political motives or repercussions."

Smoot said the county GOP has been reorganized and definite goals were established under his leadership.

In 1988, the party concentrated on registering voters and boosting voter turnout in the fall election.

"As a result, we witnessed a 92 per cent registered voter turnout in Davis County," Smoot said.