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Riders enter and exit a train at the Ogden FrontRunner station on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. 

OGDEN — Ogden City appears poised to purchase a $3 million piece of property that will ultimately pave the way for a new FrontRunner station to be built at the Business Depot Ogden.

On Wednesday, the Ogden Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend the Ogden City Council amend the city’s Capital Improvement Plan by adding the measure that calls for the city to use funds appropriated from Weber County to purchase an approximately 5-acre piece of property on west 2nd Street, immediately east of the Union Pacific rail tracks.

The council has final authority on approving the purchase, and though the body isn’t required to follow planning commission recommendations, the seven-member council typically does just that. Ogden Engineer Justin Anderson said the measure complies with the city’s general plan and is also a key part of the Wasatch Front Regional Council’s Regional Transportation Plan, which helps guide and coordinate transportation projects all along the Wasatch Front.

The Weber Area Council of Governments approved the $3 million in county funds to be used by Ogden to preserve land for the proposed station way back in 2018, but in September, an interlocal agreement between the city, the county and the Utah Transit Authority was finalized. That agreement calls for UTA to reimburse the $3 million when they build the proposed FrontRunner station.

According to planning commission documents, the city is scheduled to receive the county funds sometime during 2021, then look to purchase the site. Before Wednesday, a timeline for the purchase had not been specified.

A $32 million project to build the station on BDO grounds immediately east of the Standard-Examiner building near west 2nd Street is listed on the WFRC’s Transportation Improvement Program. The project also calls for the installation of a new, dedicated track to the station from the Ogden Intermodal Transit Center. The plan calls for a local funding match of $16 million, which would likely come from a variety of state, county and city sources. The remaining $16 million for the project would be sought from the Federal Transit Administration.

The project has been discussed in Weber County, Ogden City and state government circles for years and local officials have long touted the BDO as an ideal FrontRunner stop.

The 1,118-acre business park has more than 6,000 employees and more than 125 businesses, including the Standard-Examiner. The park also has more than 200 acres of land that can still be developed. By the time the facility is built out (which could take at least 15 years), the employee population will exceed 10,000.

Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell said the city has polled many business at the BDO, which have said employees would be more inclined to take advantage of a fixed, reliable transit system like the FrontRunner.

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