The door is open to townships that want to annex into Salt Lake City, unless city leaders decide to close it.

Mayor Ralph Becker wants Salt Lake City to keep its options open and take a reactive stance to potential annexations rather than "leading out" and courting townships.v"I don't believe it's in our best interest to draw a hard line in the sand and say we will or won't consider annexations now or in the future," Becker told the Salt Lake City Council during a work session Tuesday. "We need to keep our options open in terms of what's in the best interest of the city and in the best interest of the community as a whole."

The borders for Salt Lake County's six townships — Copperton, Emigration Canyon, Kearns, Magna, Millcreek and White City — are set to dissolve in 2010, unless the state Legislature extends the deadline or makes changes to the law.

In 1995, the Legislature created a township provision that allowed unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County to form townships, disallowing piecemeal annexations and preventing cities from cherry-picking areas for their revenue streams.

Those annexation provisions had been set to end on July 1, 2006. In 2005, that deadline was extended by the Legislature to 2010, allowing time for the county and cities to work together with the townships' residents and property owners to make plans for the future.

Results of a phone and mail survey released Aug. 4 by the University of Utah's Center for Public Policy and Administration showed that most township residents want to protect their borders.