Names of the new proposed city in western Weber County are starting to emerge and whether to move forward with the plans could be put to voters in the area next year.
The topic next comes up for public discussion on Monday, when advocates for incorporation hold another meeting, with a focus on coming up with names for the proposed locale. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at Kanesville Elementary School at 3112 S. 3500 West just outside West Haven.
Seven possible names emerged at a Nov. 4 meeting and more will be sought at next Monday’s meeting, with online voting to follow next week to pinpoint a moniker, according to Duncan Murray, who’s helped lead the process. At the same time, Murray said he thinks sufficient signatures have been gathered on petitions, as required by state law, to put the question of actually incorporating to area residents. Presuming no surprises, area voters would weigh in at the ballot box on the incorporation question on June 30, 2019, next year’s primary election date.
A contingent of western Weber County residents have been pushing the question of incorporating since early this year, with proponents arguing such change would give locals more say in the area’s development. The expansive zone west of Farr West, Plain City, Marriott-Slaterville and West Haven — now governed by Weber County commissioners — has been the site of rapid residential growth, altering the traditionally rural feel of the area, to the chagrin of some.
If the process moves forward, the locale would become the 16th city in Weber County, making the vast majority of the area west of the Wasatch Mountain Range in the county incorporated. It would be the first new city in the county since Hooper incorporated in 2000. Marriott-Slaterville incorporated in 1999.
Previous meetings on the incorporation plans have focused on logistics — how the city bureaucracy would be formed, the possible impact to property taxes in the area and more. For now, there’s more of a focus on the name, in part because those pushing the process need a name to submit to state officials along with the petitions seeking a vote on incorporation.
“I think it’s pretty important because a lot of the community is its name,” Murray said.
Murray was involved as an attorney in the processes to incorporate what are now Marriott-Slaterville and Hooper. Naming Hooper was easy because that’s what the area had already been known as. What’s now Marriott-Slaterville represented the unification of the two areas that had been known as Marriott and Slaterville, so that naming process was relatively easy as well.
The new proposed city covers four locales, Warren, West Warren, Taylor and West Weber, so the naming process is a bit more complicated.
“The challenge is, how do you include a name that represents all four?” Murray said. He wouldn’t reveal the possible names that have emerged thus far, not wanting to unfairly give the edge to any one of them ahead of Monday’s meeting.
The proposed city covers 57 square miles and is home to an estimated 4,663 people. If incorporation proceeds, the new locale would be the 13th largest in Weber County in terms of population, smaller than Harrisville, with 6,535 residents, and larger than Marriott-Slaterville, with 1,785 residents.
A study into incorporation commissioned by the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office found that property taxes on the average homeowner in the area would have to be increased by $50 a year to cover the costs of running the city.