Weber schools OK Summit tax increment

Tuesday , June 17, 2014 - 9:54 AM

Standard-Examiner staff

WASHINGTON TERRACE -- Weber School District’s Board of Education approved an actual interlocal agreement, and the idea of another interlocal agreement, at a meeting on June 11.

The actual interlocal agreement is for the Summit-Eden @ Powder Mountain Community Development Project area. The Summit Mountain Holding Group wants to develop Powder Mountain by adding more single and multi-family dwelling units, as well as commercial space. To do that, the group also needs to build infrastructure — and that requires money.

“We have been discussing and looking at this for a long period of time, and I think we’ve all come a long way in understanding the advantage it is in the district to incent private investment in our county,” said Brent Richardson, president of Weber School District’s Board of Education.

The interlocal agreement between the development group, Weber County and Weber School District allows 50 percent of the tax increment for the property, over a 20-year period, to be used for specific components of the development project.

The school district currently collects $4,804 annually on the property, which is more than 6,200 acres in size. Taxes are expected to go up as the property is developed, and 50 percent of the tax increment will be returned to the project agency for development of roads, bridges, and sewer.

The original proposal requested that the tax increment also be used for the development of natural gas and fiber optics services, but the school board said no.

“Our school board members felt uncomfortable with the tax increment being used for services that residents of Ogden Valley don’t enjoy,” explained Superintendent Jeff Stephens, after the meeting.

Stephens said he thinks the agreement will be a win-win situation.

“We’re going to collect much more than $4,800, even with the redistribution of 50 percent of the tax increment,” he said.

The interlocal agreement that’s still just in idea form is for a South Ogden Automall Community Development Project Area.

“The particulars ... are not public at this time, but the school district is aware of the parameters of the agreement and the relative area of the development,” said Richardson.

Specific details of the project are being kept under wraps to keep speculation down.

“I can tell you it is going into a blighted area,” said Richardson. “It’s been blighted as long as I can remember, and probably it was blighted when we were all in elementary school.”

The proposed interlocal agreement with South Ogden City would be similar to the one approved for Summit-Eden @ Powder Mountain, he said. This development project would, hopefully, make South Ogden more attractive to businesses such as auto dealerships.

“It seems that the auto dealers, and the business of that kind, have just been continually moving further and further out of our domain, and taking huge tax revenues,” said Richardson. “Can you imagine the sales tax revenues coming off an automotive dealership? Every one of these cars has sales tax collected on it, as we all know from the last time we bought one.”

Stephens reminded board members that they were voting only on a resolution to support the establishment of the South Ogden Automall Community Development Project Area.

“This is not an interlocal agreement,” he said. “It doesn’t obligate us to anything — it’s simply a resolution stating that we support the concept. Once the project are has been defined, then they’ll come back to us asking for an interlocal agreement.”

The school board also voted, during the Wednesday meeting, to approve an easement at Club Heights Elementary School in South Ogden. The 10-foot-wide easement is for the installation of a new secondary water main. Work on the water main will be done during the summer.

Contact reporter Becky Wright at 801-625-4274 or Follow her on Twitter at @ReporterBWright.

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