Motions in a lawsuit filed by Sandy Mayor Steve Newton were taken under advisement Friday as other elected officials planned strategy for a publicity campaign that is to preface a water supply special election.
Newton is trying to sue Sandy's way out of the Salt Lake County Water Conservancy district at the same time the city is trying to join the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake.Third District Judge Timothy Hanson on Friday heard both a motion to dismiss the suit, filed by attorneys for the conservancy district, and a motion for summary judgment that would bring the suit to a close in Sandy's favor. Hanson took both motions under advisement and may review the proposals for a week before ruling on them.
Sandy officials want out of the county system because, they say, water supplies are less than dependable and prices are too high. Newton believes a better water deal awaits the city if it joins MWD.
MWD, which serves Salt Lake City and an area of unincorporated Salt Lake County adjacent to the city, has agreed to let Sandy annex into its district if several conditions are met. One condition is that Sandy residents approve the switch in a special election.
The city has hired Bremer Public Relations to help the city produce a brochure detailing the advantages it sees in annexing into the metropolitan district. The brochure is to be sent to all city residents once an election date is set.
The special election was once scheduled for next week. But the date has been suspended, and city officials have yet to settle on another date.
One issue city residents would have to deal with in the election is whether they are willing to pay property taxes to two water districts. Double taxation would be the case unless Newton's lawsuit favors Sandy and allows the city to de-annex from the county district.
A ruling on the suit would help Sandy officials plan the words they will use for their publicity brochure that urges residents to vote for annexation to MWD.
Conservancy district officials are anxious for a resolution because the litigation has cost them their bond rating for a bond issue planned for several weeks ago that would allow them to cut a deal on a 30,000 acre-foot water supply purchase.