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Here's a breakdown of ballot issues across Utah

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Posted at 10:49 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 00:49:52-05

Aside from the obvious races Utahns will be following nationally and state-wide, voters in various counties will decide on hyper-local propositions and issues on Election Day.

Some of the issues have proven to be contentious for the communities involved.

Big Pig Farm Ban

In Millard County, Proposition #6 would ban large-scale swine operations, a.k.a. pig farms.

"If they can't be good neighbors, then we don't want them at all," said Prop 6 Lead Co-Sponsor David Remkes.

He explained that they're trying to keep out big corporations, and that the proposition came about because he said a "giant Chinese corporation" wanted to move in and build a farm. These large-scale operations, he argued, are detrimental to rural communities.

"Proposition 6 seeks to balance property rights, and keep these guys from ruining our water aquifer... killing our clean air, and destroying our property values," Remkes said.

He said there are other ways to raise pigs that could compete if they had the agricultural freedom instead of government favoritism for giant corporations.

But the Millard County arm of the Utah Farm Bureau has been adamantly against Prop 6, saying it'll hurt local, family-owned farms.

"I think that what we need to remember is we have private property rights in this country," said Erin Sorsenson, Women's Chair of the Millard County Farm Bureau. "There are already rules and regulations in place that protect us from things like water issues or odor."

She said the proposition limits a local farmer or rancher's ability to change or expand their operation in the future, and that any operation already needs to meet local, state and federal requirements before building or expanding.

To Incorporate or Not to Incorporate

In Weber County, citizens will decide whether to create what could be one of the state's newest cities, on roughly 100 square miles of land west and southwest of Plain City.

Proposition 18 asks voters if they want to incorporate a yet unnamed city currently called West Weber Community, as the area grows and develops.

"We want a seat at the table on how to manage that growth when it comes," said Prop 18 sponsor, Greg Bell.

He explained that Weber County raised taxes on the unincorporated areas to provide services to that area. A feasibility study done by the Lieutenant Governor's office, he said, showed that based on the tax rates of the unincorporated area, there are enough revenue funds to take care of themselves as a municipality.

An opposition group emerged to the proposition, called Keep Weber Western. While the organizers for the group were not able to interview Monday, the group's Facebook page explains that they worry incorporation will raise taxes exponentially.

"Incorporation will cause a litany of issues," the page description says. "In order to maintain a new city, there will need to be continued growth and/or new taxes levied by the city on our necessities. This will change our way of life drastically."

Bell indicated that as farmers sell off land on the western side of the county for commercial and residential development, they need local control and a say in how it's developed.

"Where do we want commercial, where do we want residential, where do we want to preserve farming and agriculture?" He asked. Bell indicated that they want to be able to get together and decide, "how we want that community to look."

If the area becomes incorporated, Bell explained that they'd vote on a mayor and city council, and also decide on a name for the new city.

Here are other ballot issues across the state:

Tooele County

  • $170 million school bond
  • Two controversial propositions (Prop 1 and Prop 2) that each focus on re-zoning land for development.

Davis County

Utah County

Summit County

  • Recreation, Arts and Parks (RAP) Tax of 0.10% on certain goods

Sanpete County

  • Mt. Pleasant Recreation, Arts and Parks (RAP) Tax of 0.10% on all purchases in the city