A panel of business people, elected officials and residents is expected to be formed by fall to study Davis County growth issues.

Rick Mayfield, Davis County's economic development director, said the panel and a number of subcommittees will study how population growth will affect the county in the next 25 years."We want the subcommittees to look at issues that are important to the citizens, like water, sewer, electricity, transportation needs, recreational needs, and we will also probably look at economic development," said Mayfield.

The committee will also determine accuracy of population projections for the county. Currently, state projections show that the county population will increase by 41 percent from 1987 to 2010.

The 1987 estimate placed the county's population at 179,000. The 2010 population estimate is 300,000.

"We are concerned about whether we have accurate projections" Mayfield said. "If indeed we are going to double, where is that going to happen?"

He said some Davis County cities have little room for growth and their population projects are suspect. For example, projections for Fruit Heights appear to be too high, while Kaysville population may be projected to level out too quickly.

The committee wants to make spot checks to see where development can occur. They also want to make sure those areas are prepared for the anticipated growth.

Mayfield said they also want to examine the factors that have attracted growth. For example, Mayfield wants to ask, "If it has been the rural atmosphere of Davis County that has attracted growth, will growth continue if the county becomes more urban?"

"All we have right now is a lot of questions and no answers," Mayfield said.

He said the committee is awaiting the results of the Davis School District census to help them better understand where people currently live. The census, conducted over the past several months, hopes to establish growth patterns in the county.

Davis County is projected to be the second-fastest growing county in Utah from 1980 through 2010. It trails only Washington County. Davis is expected to have a 2.4 percent yearly increase in population. Salt Lake County is expected to have 1.8 percent yearly population increase.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data compiled in 1986, Davis County cities of Farmington, Clinton, Layton, Centerville and Woods Cross were among the state's top 10 fastest-growing cities.

Farmington, Utah's second-fastest-growing town, added almost 3,000 residents to its 1980 population of 4,691. Layton grew by 33 percent to claim more population than towns traditionally considered among Utah's largest - Bountiful and Logan.

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CHART

Population projections

1987

179,000

1990

194,000

1995

217,000

2000

238,000

2005

266,000

2010C

300,000

Source: State Office of Planning and Budget.