DRAPER — A long winter of heavy storms caused everything from sacrament meeting cancellations to broken trees and crushed bumpers in the mountaintop community SunCrest in 2007 and 2008.

But next year — at a cost of more than half a million dollars — the neighborhood could have a truck capable of blowing snow 200 feet and a front-end loader to help move snow and ice out of the community.

At the request of Draper police, SunCrest also could get two flashing warning signs, alerting travelers to the possibility of bad weather.

The equipment would be paid for out of funds collected by the Traverse Ridge Special Service District, which collects property tax from SunCrest residents. Hilltop residents in both Salt Lake and Utah counties pay about double the property taxes of flatland Draper residents.

The $759,000 fund is controlled by the Draper City Council, which is holding a public hearing on the issue June 17 at City Hall.

Nasty weather in SunCrest last season cost Draper around $200,000 in salt for the roads and $120,000 in wages and overtime for seasonal employees. SunCrest snow was also the culprit in a twisted, broken axle on one city snowblower and the sole reason Draper purchased special, more-expensive road salt, Draper finance director Danyce Steck said.

The proposed snowblower truck, front-end loader and flashing sings would be dedicated to the SunCrest area, according to regulations governing the special service district fund. The new machine — a Larue T60 out of Canada — is expected to last 20 years and will keep the whole widths of roads clear, said city manager Layne Long. The truck also can blow snow over vehicles parked illegally on the street.

The snowblower will show residents the benefit of paying extra taxes, said Councilman Jeff Stenquist, who believes the purchase is worthwhile.

Councilman Bill Colbert is also in favor of the purchase, though he proposed buying more-expensive equipment during the winter months. Colbert is a SunCrest resident.

For more information on the special service district, visit the Draper Web site, www.draper.ut.us, to download the 2008-09 proposed budget.

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