Six possible names have emerged for the proposed new western Weber County city, most playing on the geography of the zone.
Now it will be up to residents from the area to weigh in via an online poll to decide which they prefer, Duncan Murray, who’s helping lead the incorporation process, said Tuesday.
The proposed names, he said, are West Weber, Big Bend, River Bend, Country Heritage, Heritage and Ogden Bay. Residents from the area taking part in two meetings on the incorporation plans — on Monday and Nov. 4 — voted on possible names. Those six, in order of votes garnered, are the finalists.
Residents in the big unincorporated swath of land west of Farr West, Plain City, Marriott-Slaterville and West Haven have been debating incorporation since early this year, in part to give locals more control over future growth. As is, Weber County commissioners are the key decision-makers governing the area, characterized by a mix of farmland and increasing numbers of residential subdivisions as growth in the county edges to the west.
The proposed name West Weber plays on the location of the area in western Weber County and west of a northwesterly curve in the Weber River, Murray said. He said the names Big Bend and River Bend play on a shift in the river in the area from a northwesterly to southwesterly trajectory. The debate over incorporation has been spurred in part by concerns that overdevelopment threatens the agricultural heritage of the area, giving rise, perhaps, to the proposed Country Heritage and Heritage names.
Organizers of the meetings on Monday and Nov. 4 collected email addresses of those taking part, and they will be sent instructions on how to vote, Murray said. Mechanisms to allow voting by others from the area not on the email list are also being pursued, with selection of a moniker, he hopes, coming by early next week.
Incorporation is hardly a done deal. Murray said those promoting the initiative submitted a petition to the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office last Friday asking that a ballot question be put to voters on the incorporation issue. Presuming the petition has the required number of signatures and complies with other state guidelines, the question over becoming a city would go to voters from the area on the primary ballot next year, on June 30, 2020.
Per incorporation, a mayor’s post and city council would be created to govern the new city. The precise format would be subject to voter preference. “That’s the whole point — the people in the community get to choose what they want there,” Duncan said.
He sensed a mix of support, skepticism and indecision among those taking part in the meetings on Monday and Nov. 4. The issue, he said, would likely be the focus of additional meetings.
The city, if formed, would become the 16th incorporated locale in Weber County.