SOUTH WEBER John Bradshaw, who has lived in South Weber for about nine years, said he loves the closeness and quietness South Weber affords, but he's loath to drive to South Ogden to do his shopping, thus taking his tax dollars to Weber County.
He said the city needs a full-service gas station, and other residents say their city could offer unique retail opportunities that could make South Weber a destination.
The South Weber City Council recently learned from its consultants at economic development firm Strategy 5 that within a 10-mile radius, there's a demand for supermarkets, pharmacies, clothing stores, electronics and appliance stores and restaurants.
That means that even with the retail in Ogden, South Ogden, Riverdale, Layton and Roy, residents in northern Davis County and southern Weber County could still support businesses and restaurants to the tune of $261.5 million a year.
City leaders say further studies need to be completed before they will know what will work.
Currently, Ray's Value Service is the only market in town. There are a couple of gravel pits and a few home-based businesses, as well as an excavation and construction company or two.
Most of the city's revenue comes from property taxes, which aren't enough to keep all city services rolling forever.
By March, Strategy 5 is expected to produce a final report, which will lead to the implementation of a master economic development plan for the city. So far, about 400,000 square feet of developable space has been identified in the city.
South Weber's location at the mouth of Weber Canyon may be one of the biggest selling points for developers. Residents in the town's center have a 15-minute drive to Snowbasin, and Weber Canyon is the jumping-off point for numerous fishing and hunting expeditions.
Ernie Bleinberger, a principal with Strategy 5, said an equestrian hotel could be part of the plan. The hotel would accommodate travelers who need to board their horses for the night and could fit nicely into the city's master plan.
Eventually, the two gravel pits in town could be filled with water to create lakes and provide a recharge for the Delta aquifer, which has declined 100 feet over the past 50 years.
Some of the city's newer residents say the focus should be on the city's east side if it is truly to become a gateway. But some of the older residents disagree.
WillaMae Coy, who has lived on the city's west side for 26 years, says she has no complaints about South Weber."I enjoy it the way it is," she said.
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