The defeat of Bennion's third incorporation attempt is a starting point for Salt Lake County, its cities and lawmakers to decide how to help residents feel in control of their community, says a county commissioner.
Commissioner Bart Barker voted in Tuesday's election on the latest incorporation bid for forming a city of 20,000 residents."It really was a question of control, a question of control and self-determination," Barker said following the 1,926 to 1,641 vote rejecting incorporation.
"We need to have a broad view from unincorporated community representatives, the county, citizen and city representatives and try to chart a long-term path where everybody can feel good about rather than piecemeal elections every year, especially with the results."
Six incorporation attempts in the county since 1980 have failed. West Valley City was the last area to successfully incorporate.
Turnout Tuesday, 39.2 percent of eligible voters, was high for an off-year election. The incorporation bid was spawned from last year's failed attempt to make Taylors-ville-Bennion a city.
Proponents saw the highest approval for incorporation come from Bennion and redrew the proposed boundaries to 54th South to 62nd South, 13th West to 40th West.
Residents are concerned about libraries, roads and "the kind of issues that can be addressed in a city council meeting," said Michael Zundel, an incorporation proponent.
"Until the residents of this community out here feel like they have that kind of say, there will always be a move to incorporate. And as long as there's a strong tax base out here, someday, somebody will want to make that point across," Zundel said.
Incorporation studies sponsored by Salt Lake County showed Bennion's sales tax revenues put the community in one of the best positions to incorporate. The 4.5-square-mile area generated $2.7 million in taxes during 1987-88, while the tab for services was $2.5 million.
Commissioner Tom Shimizu is heading the effort to find the answers for the unincorporated areas, said Barker.
"We don't have any kind of cute names to it. We just think we need to roll up our sleeves, put our minds together" and start trying to get answers.
"The time to do it is now that Bennion has made the decision. I think there's a good atmosphere to talk about it," Barker said, adding, "Regardless of which way it would have gone, we would have proposed the same thing.
"Action is already occurring, planning is already taking place to see what format would be the best for a long-range view. I think we're ready to pitch in and go to work. The real key is to involve the cities, unincorporated areas, county and lawmakers."
Incorporation election scoreboard
Taylorsville-Bennion 1988 Failed
Holladay 1985 Failed
Magna 1984 Failed
Taylorsville-Bennion 1983 Failed
Lake Valley City 1982 Failed
West Valley (dissolution) 1980 Failed
West Valley City 1980 Passed
Urban County 1979 Failed
Bonneville City 1978 Failed
Bluffdale 1978 Passed
Draper 1978 Passed
Granger-Hunter 1978 Failed