MH 072618 Ogden Grass Watering 17.JPG

Sprinklers water the front lawn of an Ogden home in July 2018.

OGDEN — Pending one last formality, a months- and perhaps years-long water service shake up in Ogden is finally complete.

The Ogden City Council approved a measure Tuesday night that moves a significant number of residents into the city's water service boundary, an action that will mean larger water bills for more than 100 property owners.

The change was necessitated by last year's annexation of some unincorporated Weber County islands into Ogden. Since the annexation, Ogden City and the Bona Vista Water Conservancy District have been working through a proposal to shift boundaries for water service near the western end of Ogden.

The area includes properties west of Interstate 15 between the Ogden-Hinckley Airport and 2550 South and between 1900 West and I-15. The boundary adjustment also includes some properties east of I-15, generally between 24th Street and the Utah Central Railroad tracks.

Tuesday's council action, which will be sealed with an upcoming vote on the plan from Bona Vista, will take 134 parcels out of the Bona Vista service boundary and put them into Ogden City’s.

As part of the deal, property taxes levied on the former Bona Vista customers will no longer be collected. The taxes assessed for Bona Vista vary depending on the land use and a property’s tax valuation, but the district’s .000237 tax rate means the owner of a commercial property worth $197,000 would be assessed $46.69 per year.

Ogden City’s water rates are based on meter size, water usage and access to secondary water. Ogden’s base monthly rate for a standard, residential meter with access to irrigation water is about $12 more than Bona Vista’s. Though the city’s monthly rate for commercial connections is about $5 less than Bona Vista’s according to council documents.

Deputy City Attorney Mark Stratford said the process essentially started in 2010, after Ogden made some substantial improvements to its water infrastructure on the west side of town. After the improvements were made, Bona Vista discontinued its direct service in west Ogden and has been using Ogden City water to supply its customers ever since, at Bona Vista prices.

"At that time ... there wasn't a good mechanism in place for those customers to transfer to Ogden city water without having to pay a double water rate," Stratford said.

But over the past few years, Stratford said, the Utah Legislature has made it possible for cities and districts to adjust mutual boundaries in areas outside of the city limits. 

"(In the past) you had to wait for people to annex and it was a problem," Stratford said. 

The city and Bona Vista have previously held joint hearings on the plan, with not much public outcry.

"I don't know that most of (the residents) were all that happy because they are paying a higher water rate," Stratford said. "But I think that educational component to try to tell them what was coming was successful in getting the message out even though they might not have loved it that much."

Council Chair Ben Nadolski said the council, in conjunction with Bona Vista, will work to alert affected residents that the change has been finalized, possibly through a letter.

Council Deputy Director Glenn Symes said tax implications and precise rates would be spelled out in the communication. 

You can reach reporter Mitch Shaw at mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.

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