NORTH OGDEN -- The issue of the public works complex is surging back to life as the mayor will appoint a new public works committee in the next few weeks. The city council is scheduled to decide Tuesday night whether to put the issue of bonding before the voters.
Last fall, more than 3,000 residents signed a petition stating they wanted to vote on whether to bond for up to $7 million to fund a new public works facility.
Councilman Dave Hulme asked the council to consider at Tuesday night's meeting whether to hold a June referendum on the bond. He would also like to see wording on the ballot asking residents what they want in a public works site.
It was suggested that the committee could help find out what residents are looking for in the facility, to see just what they would be willing to bond for, and perhaps put that option on the ballot.
Councilman Wade Bigler said he doesn't know if a vote will be needed once a new committee is formed. He asked the council and mayor to quickly appoint the committee so the city could get right to work on developing a plan for the new site.
The reason for the vote was to the let the city know that residents want to be informed every step of the way. He feels confident the new committee will do that.
"If we can roll up our sleeves and go to work and present to the public something that they like, we can just move forward and go that route," Bigler said.
Hulme doesn't agree that no vote would be necessary, and he pointed out that he felt the city did keep residents up to date every step of the way with the process last year.
He said short of going to every single one of the people who signed the petition in the fall to support a vote on whether to do the $7 million bond, the council should not move forward.
"We can't say we know what they want," Hulme said. He believes the matter is moot and that a $7 million bond is pretty much off the table, regardless.
Councilman Kent Bailey agreed that the matter needed to be voted on. He and Councilman Justin Fawson spearheaded the first petition that ended in a lawsuit between the city and Fawson and Bailey.
A second petition asked if residents wanted a referendum on the issue. When the petition was turned in and the city accepted it as valid, the city shelved the public works project until the council decides on whether to vote.
City Recorder Annette Spendlove said time is of the essence to get the issue on the June ballot.
Hulme said it would work to piggyback the issue on the same ballot as a proposed general obligation bond for the Weber School District.