Shannon Jensen went to bed as a resident of unincorporated Salt Lake County Wednesday only to wake the next morning as a South Salt Laker.

Jensen and about 7,000 others were absorbed into South Salt Lake on Thursday by way of an annexation that almost doubled the city's population."It feel great so far, I guess," laughed Jensen, admitting she hasn't noticed many changes since she became a resident hours earlier.

The annexation - which added about 2.5-square-miles to the city from 700 East to the Jordan River and from 3300 to 3900 South - bumped South Salt Lake's population to about 18,000. The pre-annexation population was a little over 10,000.

It's been a festive couple of days for city leaders.

South Salt Lake celebrated its 60th birthday Wednesday, spending much of the evening installing new city signs along annexed streets. Black and blue balloons were attached to new signs, and banners posted at the city's new borders welcomed passing motorists.

The city's first official function in the newly annexed neighborhood? South Salt Lake police officers responded to a 2 a.m. complaint that a crook was trying to steal a car on Helm Avenue (200 East). The suspect was not caught.

Several police officers, firefighters and school bands welcomed school kids at crosswalks just annexed into the city.

"I'm glad the annexation happened, It's great for us," said Gary Slaymaker, a special education teacher at Hartvigsen School, 350 E. 3605 South.

Slaymaker said the city and police department assisted the school long before annexation with school Special Olympics functions.

Mary Scott, who lives near 3600 South and 500 East, said becoming a part of South Salt Lake will give annexed residents a powerful voice they did not have with Salt Lake County.

"The city may not always agree with what we might say, but someone will be there to listen," said Scott, who sat on a coalition supporting the annexation.

Reiner Groebs has lived in his home near 3300 South and 600 East for 34 years. He's proud to become a South Salt Laker.

"I believe we'll have a little more say in local government," Groebs said, adding city leaders have promised his taxes would remain the same.