Ogden Valley incorporation meetings set; booster foresees possible question on November ballot

The area outlined in blue shows the boundaries of the proposed Weber County city in the Ogden Valley sought by some residents in the zone. A hearing on the proposal is set for Monday, June 3.

The area outlined in blue shows the boundaries of the proposed Weber County city in the Ogden Valley sought by some residents in the zone. A hearing on the proposal is set for Monday, June 3. (Weber County GIS Division)

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EDEN, Weber County — Questions over the boundaries of the area that would become a new city in the Ogden Valley have slowed the incorporation initiative.

But the new proposed city limits have been drawn, the state released an updated report on the plans earlier this month and the incorporation effort steams forward. Boosters could start collecting signatures on petitions to get the issue on the ballot by as early as next week, and the question of whether to create the new locale could go to voters in November.

Interest in incorporation is "very strong still," said Noah Dahlkamp, an Ogden Valley resident from the Liberty area who's helping in the effort. "There's a lot of support here in the valley at least to be given a choice."

The first of several talks sponsored by incorporation boosters on the process of becoming a city was set for Tuesday night, with more scheduled through September. The second and final public hearing on the process, required under state law, is set for next Monday, June 3, after which the petition process to force a vote on the matter can commence.

A contingent of residents in the Ogden Valley, the area of Weber County east past the Ogden Canyon around Pineview Reservoir, launched efforts in 2022 to turn a broad swath encompassing the Eden, Liberty and Wolf Creek areas into a city. Proponents say creating a municipality complete with a city council or some other sort of governing body would give locals more control in the area's future as more people move in. As is, Weber County commissioners — officially neutral on the issue — govern the unincorporated area, and many in the Ogden Valley have bristled at their leadership, particularly on development issues.

The area is home to three ski resorts, Snowbasin, Powder Mountain and Nordic Valley, as well as Pineview Reservoir, a popular weekend travel destination. Nordic Valley would sit within the boundaries of the new city, but the other two resorts and Pineview Reservoir would not.

Others, though, have raised questions, worried, among other things, about the property tax implications of creating a new city. Questions, too, emerged about the boundaries of the city — originally to have covered 73.9 square miles — which required a redrawing of the proposed city limits and a new state-sanctioned review of the plans.

LRB Public Finance Advisors completed the review for the state, and it was publicly disclosed on May 8 by Ogden Valley Incorporation, a group promoting the change. The landmass, according to the new document, has been reduced to 63.3 square miles, removing some federal land and land abutting Huntsville that was annexed into the town. Because of updated population figures, the number of estimated residents in the area, though, has increased from 7,387 to 7,583.

Perhaps more significantly for incorporation boosters, the revamped study, like the first one released last December, shows that turning the area into a self-governing locale is theoretically feasible from a financial standpoint. Under three scenarios considered, LRB Public Finance Advisors determined the proposed city, if created, would generate a budget surplus of 5% averaged over five years when factoring expected revenues and expenses, the threshold set out in state law.

At any rate, many still have questions, Dahlkamp said, which prompted the series of talks sponsored by the incorporation sponsors.

"The point is to educate the community," he said, on tax questions, how the transition to a city would unfold and other issues. A total of seven talks are scheduled, to be led by Wayne Pyle, an Ogden Valley resident and former West Valley City city manager.

At the meeting next Monday, reps from LRB Public Finance Advisors will present results of the updated study, take questions and let the public speak out. It's to start at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at Snowcrest Junior High at 2755 N. Highway 162 in Eden.

After Monday's meeting, boosters will start collecting signatures to get the incorporation question on the ballot, according to a post on the Facebook page of Ogden Valley Incorporation. Dahlkamp said, "It's going to be tight" to get the question on the November ballot, though it's possible. However, the incorporation sponsors have a year to get signatures, and the question could also be on a ballot in 2025.

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Tim Vandenack covers immigration, multicultural issues and Northern Utah for KSL.com. He worked several years for the Standard-Examiner in Ogden and has lived and reported in Mexico, Chile and along the U.S.-Mexico border.


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