Brigham-Perry-Willard corridor now classified urban

Tuesday , June 24, 2014 - 5:33 PM

Standard-Examiner staff

BRIGHAM CITY -- It's official, Box Elder County, you're urban.

The U.S. Census Bureau's population projections have led to the designation of the Brigham City-Perry-Willard corridor as urban for some planning purposes, city officials say.

The threshhold was the 50,000 population mark the entire county hit shortly after the 2010 census, said City Manager Bruce Leonard. "And they see the area of Brigham to Willard as a concentrated area, and it has gotten pretty dense," he said.

"As rural as we are," City Councilman Tom Peterson has asked city staff to investigate an appeal of that designation.

Jason Roberts, city finance director, said it has to do with Census Bureau jargon to the effect Brigham, Perry and Willard are now just "a hop, skip and a jump" away from each other.

The corridor accounts for pretty much half the county headcount, with the 2010 Census numbering Brigham at 17,899, Perry at 4,512 and Willard 1,571. The county as a whole stood at 49,975 in 2010.

So sometime shortly afterward, someone pushed the county over the 50,000 mark -- probably someone in Perry, the county's fastest growing city, according to the bureau. It estimated Box Elder at 50,232 in 2012, and 50,794 in 2013.

And the first impact of the urban label will hit citizen pocketbooks in the new Brigham City budget that takes effect July 1.

To the tune of 68 cents a month extra in the monthly utility fee for storm drainage maintenance. The city was informed last fall by state environmental regulators the new urban designation meant upgrading the city's monitoring and testing of the water quality of storm drainage passing through the city's culverts and retention ponds.

The fee hike to take effect next month will cover the purchase of some $20,000 worth of equipment, Roberts said, and hiring the part-time personnel to handle the upgraded testing and monitoring.

But that's about it for now, officials said of the impact of the urban handle. "I don't think it's going to change the culture," Leonard said.

More like expanded opportunities for transportation funding and planning, he said. The city's designs on a new intersection at the west end of 1100 South get a boost with the urban designation, raising the cap on federal funds that might be available for the $3 million to $5 million project meant to open the area to more commercial development.

The urban adjective means the money might be available in 2016 instead of 2019, Leonard said.

Contact reporter Tim Gurrister at 801-625-4238, Follow him on Twitter at @tgurrister​

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