OGDEN — Powder Mountain is one step closer to becoming Weber County's newest town.

The Weber County Commission reluctantly, but unanimously, approved a resolution this morning to grant a petition for the incorporation of the new township, located about 19 miles northeast of Ogden.

"We have no decision in this," Commissioner Craig L. Dearden said. "We are compelled."

He said that's due to the state Legislature's township laws.

However, the commission did table for two weeks a request to appoint the town's mayor and council.

"This is a bad (incorporation) law," Dearden said, noting that as a former police officer he knows he still must uphold the law.

"I don't see any options on this," Commissioner Ken A. Bischoff said.

The commission consulted many attorneys, other Utah counties — like Summit — and even searched out of state. It could find no loopholes or precedents to stall or change the vote, since the town meets all the current state criteria.

The commission was able to flex some muscle, however, when it tabled until Aug. 19 the next step in the process, the approval of the new town's leaders.

"We'd like to request a longer list (of candidates)," Commissioner Jan M. Zogmaister said.

All three commissioners said they were not satisfied with the list of just six possible town leaders they received — the minimum number required. Again, they felt they were having no say in a list of six. They also indicated they received the list too recently to get to know the candidates.

The commission decided it will generate its own list of potential town leaders, receive a longer list soon from the town's proponents and then meet to choose the mayor and five council members.

Zogmaister said any interested resident in the town's boundaries who is a registered voter can contact the commission for consideration as a leader.

"This will not be an easy thing," she warned of the work involved to start a town from scratch.

The commission also advised any prospective Powder Mountain town leaders to be aware that they have to wear an independent hat when serving as such. Any conflicts of interest must be set aside and/or declared publicly.

Some of the almost 60 people in attendance at the commission meeting said they had no comment on the action taken there, when approached. Others were already discussing a longer list of potential town leaders.

The Powder Mountain town idea has been controversial among some residents, who claim they had no say in the process and say they are concerned about increased traffic and that the town is a front to more easily turn Powder Mountain resort into a much larger development.

Alvin Cobabe, who started Powder Mountain in 1972 and lives in the town's boundaries, was pleased with the meeting's outcome.

"I want to see Powder Mountain keep growing," he said, explaining that the only way it will survive is by becoming a town and doing that.

His name was also on the list of the six potential city leaders.

"I'd just as soon not serve," he said. "But someone's got to do it."

He retired and sold the resort years ago and has no direct control or financial interest in it these days.

One property owner asked to be excluded from the township, and his request was granted. Despite his exclusion, the town still meets all state requirements.

A copy of the Powder Mountain development agreement is available on the Weber County Web site, www.co.weber.ut.us.


E-mail: lynn@desnews.com