Deseret Morning News archives
Bruce Wisan

Another round of letters is being sent today to residents in the polygamist border towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Ariz.

Beginning this month, the court-controlled United Effort Plan Trust is assessing a $100-a-month fee for infrastructure improvements that have to be made to the communities.

"Each monthly assessment is due on or before the last day of the month," court-appointed special fiduciary Bruce Wisan wrote in a letter being sent to every resident.

Failure to pay will result in late charges. It could also result in people being evicted from the communal property. Wisan told the Deseret Morning News that he expects some initial resistance, just like he did when trying to collect property taxes.

"I'll have to get my stick out and I'll have to show that I'm serious," he said Monday.

The UEP Trust controls homes, businesses and property in the Fundamentalist LDS Church enclaves of Hildale and Colorado City. In 2005, the courts took control of the UEP amid allegations that polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs and other top FLDS leaders had been mismanaging it.

Wisan has been trying to subdivide the communal property, paving the way for private property ownership. In his letter to residents of the border towns, he blames the monthly fee on costs placed upon the trust by the Hildale and Colorado City town governments. They are requiring new water lines and other infrastructure improvements before the subdivision can go forward.

"In the real world, a developer incurs those costs then charges them to the residents that buy those lots," Wisan said. "Here, the residents moved in before the developer was able to create the improvements that are necessary."

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