SYRACUSE The two remaining cities in the Davis Technology and Economic Cooperative have been left to regroup following the announcement that Syracuse will be withdrawing from the planning cooperative.
Clearfield and West Point, which had been partners with Syracuse in master-planning 1,100 acres of abutting farmland in the three cities, lament Syracuse's decision, which is expected to be formalized by resolution during the Oct. 13 City Council meeting.
Syracuse Mayor Fred Panucci said the city's involvement in DTEC caused such a fervor among residents that city staff members were spending an inordinate amount of time defending DTEC to the public.
Syracuse is one of the fastest-growing cities in Davis County, and staff members need to focus on that growth right now, he said.
But Panucci said he still plans to coordinate planning with his neighboring cities, which have a similar vision for the type of zoning and master planning that need to happen in the DTEC area.
The three entities will likely form their own separate economic development areas, known as EDAs, which can be used as an incentive for new businesses.
Syracuse's portion of DTEC was the largest, at 549 acres. Clearfield's portion is 257 acres, and West Point has 215 acres.
West Point and Clearfield will likely continue participating in DTEC in some form, but their land in the planning area doesn't touch.
Panucci said his fellow mayors were disappointed in the news.
Clearfield Mayor Don Wood said that's true because DTEC was still in an embryonic stage. No formal discussions had taken place about how tax revenue would be shared among the three cities or any of the various other topics involved in master planning.
"We never got all of the dots connected," Wood said, adding that opponents to DTEC never gave the project a chance to be evaluated on its merits.
But there's still a tremendous opportunity for Clearfield and West Point, Wood said, though the separation into three EDAs may lose some marketability for future developers.
"I think we had more clout as a group," said West Point Mayor John Petroff. "Whether in Syracuse, in West Point or in Clearfield, we want to make sure land uses are similar."
"I don't think it's impossible," Wood said. "We'll have to be a lot more imaginative."
One specific benefit that will still roll forward, Panucci said, is the westward extension of state Route 193. Currently, the road runs from U.S. Highway 89 in Layton to Clearfield, but city leaders in all three cities wish to see it extended to meet up with the future Route 67 expansion, unofficially called North Legacy.
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