EAGLE MOUNTAIN Not surprisingly, transportation leads the agenda in two rapidly growing communities.
In a recent joint work session, the Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs city councils came together to bounce ideas off each other about the future of the neighboring cities and to establish an alliance as they approach county and state government for support on several items. Almost everything revolved around roads.
"We are retired, so luckily we get to choose to not go out in rush hour," Saratoga Springs resident Dick Webb said of himself and his wife, Sandy. The Webbs have lived in the city for almost five years now and they fully understand the issue of traffic to those in the area. "We stay away from the busy traffic times because if you don't, it is a log jam."
During the meeting, the two councils shared information about the state Route 68 project as well as the future plans to widen Highway 73 up to Ranches Parkway in Eagle Mountain. Saratoga Springs planning director Jim McNulty informed the councils that Saratoga Springs had just met with UDOT about another much-needed east-west connector now known as 10th South. McNulty said construction for that road should start by November of this year and should take about 18 months to complete.
For Eagle Mountain resident Colby Hoschouer, any alternate to Highway 73/Lehi Main Street would be great. "Everyone out here travels to either Salt Lake or to the Provo area for work so we need some alternate routes," she said.
The other important road on the agenda was Pony Express Parkway. The two mayors recently returned from a trip to Washington, D.C., where they lobbied for funding to help extend that road to Redwood Road.
"The real issue with that road is that it is in Saratoga, but it is really critical to us here in Eagle Mountain," said Eagle Mountain Mayor Heather Jackson.
Jackson wondered what they could do now to further help with that issue, and Saratoga Springs Mayor Timothy Parker said that the two should request a meeting with Mountainlands Association of Governments so that the issue may be given more attention.
Public transportation, or lack thereof in the two cities, also made its way into the discussion.
"I meet about once a year with UTA and in the last meeting they said that if we joined their association and adopted the one-quarter-of-one-percent tax increase we still wouldn't be guaranteed a bus route," Parker said.
Parker suggested the two cities look into options other than UTA, as a means to help their citizens at least be transported into areas where broader forms of public transportation are available.
Other parts of the two-hour sit-down addressed economic development and the possibility of starting their own chamber of commerce, or the possibility of being a chapter of the existing Lehi Chamber.
Eagle Mountain also informed the Saratoga Springs officials of a study they have initiated about a possible fire district that could provide services to the two cities, as well as the Fairfield and Cedar Fort areas.
The last issue addressed the recent defeat of Rep. Chris Cannon 3rd District congressman, in the Republican primary last month. Their own opinions aside, both mayors seemed to be passionate about the importance of working together with their new congressman, whomever that may be."Since we know we will have a new congressman in the 3rd District, we have really got to get on board and work together with that particular congressman so that we make sure he is hearing what we are saying," Jackson said.