NORTH OGDEN — The city will receive more than $2 million through a grant from Weber County to extend Monroe Boulevard from 1500 North to 3100 North.
The money comes from the county’s local Transportation Corridor Fund and had to be approved by the Weber Area Council of Governments.
The purpose of the grant money is for the city to acquire the land necessary to complete the road. The road is on the city’s master plan to be a major collector road in the next 20 years.
“We’re not talking about doing this (project) now,” City Councilman Wade Bigler said.
City Manager Ron Chandler said what will happen now with the road development will be preliminary. The city’s engineers gave an estimated cost for acquiring the land. That is what the dollar figure is based on.
“All we are doing now is purchasing the right of way,” Mayor Richard Harris said.
As the land is acquired, technical help will also be provided, he added. Once the rights of way are purchased, the city will proceed whenever it has the resources to do so. Harris believes that having this money and being able to work with landowners now to acquire the land before any development takes place is a plus for both sides.
The mayor suggested that the city contract with a real estate professional to help with the land acquisition and to make sure everyone is being treated fairly in the process.
Chandler said another item at the top of the agenda is to have the property surveyed.
City Councilman Kent Bailey expressed concern that it may not be enough money — considering inflation — if the corridor isn’t developed right away.
Chandler said that shouldn’t be an issue because of the engineer’s estimate, as well as the fact the money is just to procure the land at this point.
In an email, Chandler said the city wouldn’t start contacting property owners for quite some time, because a lot of preliminary work still must be done. He also said city officials don’t think it will be necessary to buy any houses to get the road built, because the road is designed to run through undeveloped property.
“This is the reason we applied for the grant now — so we can preserve this right of way before there is a lot of development pressure,” Chandler said.
However, Chandler admitted he is unsure whether the city will have to use eminent domain to obtain the land. He hopes it will not come to that.
“Kudos to the mayor and Ron (Chandler). This is a long time coming,” City Councilman Brent Taylor said. “It is outstanding to get this funding and to be able to expand this road.”
Chandler said city officials plan to meet with county officials soon to work out the procedures for distributing the funds.