The voters spoke Tuesday, and they pronounced a sentence of death on Murray's downtown smokestacks.
Murray residents voted by a 4-1 ratio to reject a proposed $3.4 million general obligation bond that would have funded the seismic reinforcement and preservation of one of the Salt Lake Valley's most prominent landmarks.That overwhelming defeat dooms the historic chimneys, leaving them in the possession of private companies that are expected to demolish the stacks soon to make way for a massive downtown redevelopment project.
The fate of the smokestacks was decided in convincing fashion as about 22 percent of Murray's 21,972 registered voters turned out for the special election and crushed the proposed bond by a 2,595-vote margin.
With all 35 of the city's voting precincts and absentee ballots counted, the final tally was 3,526 voting against the bond and 931 votes in favor.
The City Council had scheduled a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday to canvass the vote and consider a motion to take possession of the smokestacks and begin renovation work.
However, the motion is now moot given the thrashing the bond proposition received.
But the council, which is supposed to notify the Environmental Protection Agency about its decision on preservation by Thursday, may choose to adopt an official city position on the chimneys for the EPA's benefit.