NORTH OGDEN -- Controversy over a proposed public works facility could come to a head Tuesday night when a public hearing will be held on the city's plan to sell up to $10 million in revenue bonds to finance the costs of the project.
Some in the city believe the cost of the bonds is too much.
This is the latest fight over the city's efforts to build a new facilty. Two earlier attempts were derailed because of concerns over the sites proposed.
If the bonds are sold and the city moves forward, utility rates could increase $5 to $6 per month for the next 25 years. That price will not increase over the course of the bond.
The council is set to vote after the public hearing on authorizing the mayor and finance director to finalize the terms of the utility revenue bonds.
Finance Director Debbie Cardenas said that doesn't mean the bonds will be issued, but it is the next step in the process.
Cardenas and others in the city and on the council feel frustrated by what they interpret to be misinformation being distributed by those who oppose the bonds.
City Manager Ed Dickie said he has never heard of a city deliberately giving false information to residents with the intent to deceive, as the city has been accused of doing. "It really is heartbreaking that is what they think," he said.
City Councilman Wade Bigler is helping to organize a petiton to put the question of the bond issue on the November ballot for residents to vote on.
He and other residents have been working to get 2,000 signatures that will put the issue on the ballot, where he thinks voters will nullify the council vote set for Tuesday.
Bigler has stated several times that the city should just buy the land and pay for the building as it has the money, rather than incurring the cost associated with the the bonds.
Residents and some city council candidates have sent fliers and emails encouraging others to oppose the funding plans for the public works complex.
City Councilman Brent Taylor, who sits on the public works committee, has also sent a letter to residents and those who supported his campaign, explaining his view of the situation.
"My goal is to try to get the facts out there," Taylor said. He has heard residents and one council member say the project is a done deal.
"That is a bunch of baloney," Taylor said.
He noted the city is following the proper procedures. Other options are being considered for the complex, such as what kinds of materials will be used and what structures will be built, he said. No secret meetings have been held, either, as has been stated by some, he said.
Taylor will make the presentation about the facility before the public hearing and said he plans to point out erroneous information that has been circulating in the community.
City Attorney Dave Carlson said the city tried to save residents money by building the complex on two different proposed sites but met opposition from residents both times.
The cost to buy the latest site, on 2550 North just west of the Aquatic Center, wlll be in the neighborhood of $1 million.
Both Cardenas and Taylor said the city has no intention of spending $10 million on the site and is looking at every way to save money. The $10 million is a not-to-exceed number for the whole project.
NORTH OGDEN — A public hearing on the proposed sale of revenue bonds to fund a public works complex will be at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at city offices, 505 E. 2600 North. If the crowd is too big to fit in the council chambers, the meeting will be moved to the Senior Center directly south of the city offices.