Homeowners in the Millcreek Townships can expect a knock at their door in the coming weeks and months. Volunteers are collecting signatures on a petition and handing out brochures. If their goal of 5,000 signatures is successful, Millcreek could incorporate and become Millcreek City in the next general election.
Remaining an unincorporated township leaves Millcreek vulnerable to annexation as a whole or in part by surrounding cities. The threat of annexation seems to be reason enough for some homeowners to sign the petition and perhaps vote for incorporation, but that could be the wrong choice.
If incorporation of Millcreek does get on the ballot, it will divide the community. Those who stand to benefit the most by incorporation will spend tens-of-thousands of dollars on advertising. Have-nots will do their best with a grass-roots effort to stop incorporation.
There's no reason for a showdown. Simply keep Millcreek the way it is: a sense of community, undivided and a lifestyle residents have come to enjoy and other communities would like to emulate. This seems like a better choice.
True, incorporation might give more representation to Millcreek residents, whether it's land development, zoning or future transportation needs. However, these policies seem to be fine in their present state.
The brochure given out by volunteers paints a rosy picture for the future of Millcreek City. It quotes a prodigious feasibility study. It describes in detail how $3.5 million from the county's Municipal Services Fund will kick-start the nascent city. And finally, the brochure explains how Millcreek City will be eligible for special grants and loans.
Don't be won over by the brochure's persuasive copy writing. Projections in the feasibility study are just that, projections. The $3.5 million is, at best, a maybe. And strict qualifications must be met for any grants or loans.
Each day Millcreek residents wake up and benefit from excellent unified services, well-protected green areas and participate in Millcreek's thriving business communities. What you take for granted today might not be there in the future if you're one of the 5,000 property owners who sign the petition.
Currently, Millcreek Townships are protected from annexation until February 2013, due to a 2010 Utah Senate bill (SB73). However, an amendment to this bill could protect Millcreek from annexation indefinitely.
The 2012 Utah Legislature is now in session. Urge your state representative to introduce a new bill or an amendment to SB73, and let's keep Millcreek in its present form. This represents the winning choice.
James Powers is a freelance writer and is a long-standing resident of the Canyon Rim Township.