Bill paves way for citizens in unincorporated townships to vote on their area’s future

Posted at 8:45 PM, Mar 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-13 22:45:05-04

SALT LAKE CITY — One bill that passed this legislative session means a historic election in Salt Lake County, as the legislation would allow residents in unincorporated townships to vote on whether to become a city or a metro-township.

The bill would impact communities like Millcreek, Magna and Kearns and the issue will be up for a vote in November of 2015.

Ben McAdams, Salt Lake County Mayor, said SB199 will bring stability and certainty to these townships, and he said he is glad the public will have a say in what happens.

“It creates some new options that weren’t available to them before and then lets them decide, once those options are created, lets them decide what option really fits their particular needs,” McAdams said.

If voters decide to become a metro township or city, they’ll elect a governing body in November of 2016. They will also have a question on the ballot for non-township unincorporated areas to either remain as they are or to annex to a city.

McAdams said the delivery of services like snow removal, storm drain maintenance, street lights and animal services will be provided by a newly-formed Municipal Service District, which will be staffed by existing county employees and governed by elected representatives from the townships and cities.

Regardless of which option the townships take, the change, “will ensure boundary protection, eliminating the uncertainty of nearby cities trying to acquire commercial areas within the townships,” according to the press release.