New Year News Update

There are several items I would like to give you an update on so I’ll do my best to be brief.

First, I want to let everyone know we are continuing to work toward selling the utilities near the end of February. The vote in November made it possible for the utilities to be sold, and we are continuing to work out the last remaining details on the asset purchase agreements. The final documents will still need to be presented to the City Council and signed by me after approval. As planned, you will see your last gas and electric charges on the City bill around the second week in March. If there are any changes to this plan we will certainly let you know. You will continue to receive a bill for your water, sewer, storm drain and trash through the City.

Did you know we have a City cemetery? You may see a map of the location here. The cemetery is located north of the rodeo grounds along Eagle Mountain Boulevard. It was approved in 2014 and a road, irrigation and sod have been put in as the first phase. This coming year, our budget will consider additional funds for the entry, or monument sign, landscaping, as well as fencing around the property. The City Council will weigh in on those improvements as part of the budget process. The cemetery is currently the final resting place for two people. While the aesthetics of the cemetery may not be polished yet, it is a cemetery, and I ask that all residents be respectful of the intended use, and refrain from using it for recreation. While we are working to add content about the new cemetery to the City website, you are welcome to contact the City Recorder’s office for additional information including pricing to purchase a plot. The Recorder’s office can be reached at 801-789-6611 or 801-789-6634.

On the subject of the State prison relocation, I have been in active communication with several individuals associated with the process. I am meeting with the engineer tasked with collecting information for the site selection process, and we will be working to reconcile the huge difference in projected costs for the Eagle Mountain site. The purpose of this is to make certain that the voting members of the Prison Relocation Commission (PRC) have an accurate view of the potential costs of moving the prison to Eagle Mountain. We have a draft report compiled to present to the PRC members, and we should be making our final edits to the report this week. Our intent is to present the report to the PRC and to offer a guided site visit to the PRC members some time this month. With a decision that will have such a significant impact on the community that is chosen, I feel it is a reasonable expectation that each of the members visit the three sites under consideration. I will keep you posted about that meeting.

Lastly, there was another accident on Sunset Dr. and Cory Wride Memorial Highway last week. I want to acknowledge residents’ safety concerns over this intersection. I also want to let you know that we are continuing to work with UDOT on bringing a signal to this intersection. The intersection and surrounding area has undergone a traffic study and the signal is currently in the design phase with UDOT. While I can’t set expectations for when the signal will be in place, I will tell you that the project is progressing well.

25 thoughts on “New Year News Update

  1. On the Sunset Drive, SR73 issue, for now could UDOT at least lower the speed limit to 45 until past the west entery to North Ranch. 55 mph on SR73 through the enteries to the subdivions is a dangerous speed. Long ago UDOT did lower the speed limit and expanded the roadway into Meadow Ranch at the request of myself and others, circa 2002. Thank you for your time and I pray that UDOT makes that intersection a priority.

    Jack Homen Family
    9482 North Bobcat Way

    • Jack, I was a bit surprised to learn that UDOT adjusts speed limits contrary to what one might expect. When a traffic study shows consistent speeding over the posted speed limit, the result is that UDOT raises the speed limit in most cases. They have confirmed with me that if a speed study is completed on this road and it shows a speeding trend, the result would be a speed limit increase. This is of course opposite of what we want.

      • Perhaps it was simpler times in 2000-2002. We built our home in 1998-1999, moved in May of 1999. My daughters began driving themselves to Lehi High School in 2000. The speed limit was 65 from the gravel pit westward. I wrote a letter along with emails expressing concern for my daughters safety. I pointed out the concern of being rear ended coming home as there was no right turn lane to the westward entry to Meadow Ranch. In 2002 a fatal accident occurred just west of our home on SR73, between Sunset and Mustang. My son and I responded as members of EMFD. I sent an additional letter citing this accident and the partial cause being an eastbound vehicle crossing the center line. I pointed out that at 65 miles an hour, time to correct was diminished and the aggregate speed contributed to the fatality. I have no idea if this second letter had any impact but by that spring the speed limit was lowered and UDOT constructed a right hand turn lane. My voice was one of many including the HOA, our council woman, and the mayor at the time. If nothing else our collective voices were heard. As a side note all of the arguments for not lowering the speed limit, some cited here were also express on the old Eagle Mountain Forum and a few of us were vilified. I stand on the side of the safety of our citizens having been responsible for their life safety as a member of the old volunteer fire department. Thank you once again.

  2. How did the city come to the conclusion that having the prison locate in our area would be such a horrible thing? Was there a city-wide survey taken that I missed? Citizens really should be concerned about the city using $50,000 of tax money to fight the potential move. That money could probably complete the cemetery the mayor mentioned. If the prison relocated here, there would most certainly be the need to bring mass transit to our community. Wouldn’t it be great if we and our children could take a bus to college or work? Having a real bus system would benefit all of us. The prison relocation could result in new jobs and encourage more retail and commercial development. I’m sure that many of the citizens of city center would welcome a market, gas station, and restaurants closer to home? Sure, having a state prison nearby initially sounds bad. But, has that stopped people from moving into Bluffdale, Riverton, Draper and Sandy? I hope that everyone thinks the issue through before condemning it.

    • Citizens had their chance to voice their opinions at the special city council meeting in Eagle Moutain. They OVERWHELMING supported to fight against the prison relocating to Eagle Mountain and supported the $50,000 set aside to fight it.

    • IMHO, moving the prison to the city center will NOT encourage growth as the above individual implies. It will cut property values of all our homes in half. It will take two times as long to sell a home in the city center than it will anywhere else. It will completely shut down any idea that a commercial establishment will develop in the city center. At most it will bring a gas station/convenience store along with it, and that is it. As far as public trans? The bus to the Ranches is always empty. UTA is not gonna spend the money to run another empty bus to the city center…

      • David, there have been numerous studies done about prison impacts on property values and they all conclude that there is no impact on property value. Google around for the facts.

    • Jim, you point about the $50k is valid. I want you to know that we have not spent a dime of those funds as of yet. The primary purpose of that allocation was to send a strong message to the Prison Relocation Commission that we would not be a “soft target” for the prison relocation. Make no mistake however, I am perfectly willing to spend the $50k to defend ourselves against receiving the prison if necessary. That doesn’t mean that I am itching to spend any of the money however. I won’t spend any unless there is a compelling reason to do so.

      As far as the benefits of the prison are concerned, I acknowledge there would be benefits. With the tremendous amount of traffic that would be coming our way, we would certainly see a gas station, convenience store, and perhaps a couple restaurants spring up. Those benefits would likely be the extent of the immediate economic benefit. We would also see our traffic congestion go up significantly, though our roads are not designed to handle those kinds of loads.

      Infrastructure along all of John Walden’s property would also be opened up for development. Tonight, the developer was given approval for the development agreement on a project that will bring in over 4,000 residential units south of Overland Trails and place them within two miles of the prison. Over 2,000 of those lots are 50′ frontages. (that is small).

      There are a lot of parts to this puzzle, but I can tell you that as always, I have done my homework on the issue before formulating an opinion and the negative impacts of the prison would outweigh the positives.

      We do have other significant projects in the works that will bring in jobs that pay much more than the prison, that will increase traffic and support a gas station, and other businesses, though it will bring that growth at a more reasonable rate that can be managed.

      If given the chance to capture steady growth with more beneficial uses than a prison, I’ll take it.

    • Jim, I love the insight of the other side! I too am for the movement out here. It might at last get us some amenities out in city center that are sorely lacking. I would also agree that with the statement about the money delegation, was there a vote on this? I never got to vote on it. That money would definitely be better spent on the cemetery.

    • Are you crazy? Do you relieze what it would do to our house values? And the location near homes and schools? You must have more to gain then the rest of us?

      • You hit the nail on the head, Julie. In my opinion, John Walden is very much known for his team posting positive things about his interests to cause the uninformed to think that the very bad thing that Mr Walden wants to do to us is actually good. If the “for-the-prison” folks would step out of their anonymity, I’d expect everyone of them has Quid Pro Quo interest in Mr Walden.

        Representative David Lifferth and Senator Mark Madsen and other politicians have advanced Mr Walden’s interests rather than those of their constituents. I saw David Lifferth at the Central Committee meeting and he was wearing a black shirt saying no prison in Saratoga Springs. Of course that is a moot point. I didn’t get couldn’t see Eagle Mountain on his shirt too, but David has certainly played games to trick people on his true positions. If he is truly representing the citizens of EM, he should clearly state that he is and will do everything to stop the prison from coming here and report exactly what he is doing. He says things like he’s talked to a lot of people, but he doesn’t say what the actual conversation was. He has always reminded me of President Obama in that he purports to be totally transparent, but is the total opposite.

  3. I think Mr Bright is misguided or a benefactor of Mr Walden, Representative Lifferth or Senator Madsen in some way. Please do as Mr Bright suggests and look at Draper and see how everything about the city and surrounding area of the prison is diminished and has a disturbing pall over it. Just the name of Draper has a negative aura because of the prison. For all the reasons given for relocating the prison, Draper fits them all far better than any of the proposed sites. If it is such a boon why is Draper fighting so hard to get it out of their town instead of upgrading where it stands. If it is such a magnet for commerce, etc., why haven’t the hi-tech companies and retail shops raced to build around it, as Mr Bright suggests.

    I hope the mayor and city council will present plans and zoning for the land in question that will show residential and commercial expansion and what a prison would do to diminish that.

    • The reasons cited by Draper to move it has to do with the values of the land beneath the prison for commercial and residential development. The prison itself cites the enormous cost to upgrade the facilities were it stands. Having responded to the emergency needs at the prison as a member of Unified Fire over the course of 31 years, the facility has grown more wretched over time. It is simple very old with old technology for heating cooling and safety for the staff. They, the prison, recommends starting with a clean sheet of paper to build a facility that will last an additional 50 years. I am surprised that the site in Eagle Mountain was and is being considered given the lack of transportation corridors. Perhaps the somewhat remote location is attractive along with ( my opinion) the perceived notion we can be ignored. I would hope that there is due diligence within the committee to find a solution that benefits all. Steps off of soap box and smiles.

  4. I really wish you would reconsider your support for a light at Sunset. I would speculate that a majority of citizens in City Center do not want another hindrance. There is nothing wrong with that intersection that warrants a light and the speed should not be lowered. We do not need another light in addition to all the other stop signs and lights we have to go through now. If people in the neighborhood of that area want to be extra safe, could they not use the new Ranches Parkway with the existing light?

    • Mike here is the rub, the new Black Ridge Elementary School is less then 300 feet north of SR73 on Sunset. The traffic backs up both on SR73 in the mornings, and on Sunset during the afternoon recess for the day. The traffic west and east is traveling at the minimum 55, but more often closer to 60. The sight lines east and west can be compromised when someone is turning right westbound off of Sunset. It is easy to be t-boned from a vehicle traveling east, if an error in judgement is made. I hope at the least UDOT, will consider lowering the speed limit to 45 from Ranches to North Ranch on SR73. We live on Bobcat Way in Meadow Ranch and my grand children attend Black Ridge.

      • I forgot to mention, west bound from Sunset onto SR73, there is no merge lane. If a car is turning left eastbound when a car is turning right west bound, it is difficult to have a clear view of the traffic headed west on SR73. Without a merge lane westbound, you are forced to entry the traffic lane immediately . I would rather not have a hinderance east or west bound but the lives of our citizens trumps my concern fir an extra minute when commuting.

    • Mike,

      I know slowing the commute down is not a positive development for many. Unfortunately, there have been at least 4 serious accidents at that intersection to this point. When I say serious accidents, I mean accidents that change the course of a families life. As a nature of my job, I get to hear about these incidents and in some cases see the aftermath close up. When it becomes obvious that there is an issue that is impacting people in serious ways, and that issue can be identified, there seems little choice but to take action. While I am careful to consider the impacts of the decisions and actions I take, people’s lives will ALWAYS win over the commute. I don’t want to read about a death at that intersection. If we don’t act, I assure you, that is exactly what we will see. Anyway, its a serious issue and I will do what I can to keep the impact to everyone as minimal as possible.

      • Thank you gentlemen for your comments.
        I took them to heart and spent some time observing the situation. So much so that I gave time last week for three days sitting at the intersection, mostly during the morning, with an occasional afternoon when time permits. I was even questioned by a concerned citizen who had noticed my frequency and why I was just sitting there watching the kids. I explained my purpose of watching traffic. I even drove up and down the roads on Sunset and pulled in and out during those times to experience the traffic. Here are my observations.
        Other than a lot of impatient people, I saw or experienced very little hazard. When people drove responsibly, there were no issues. I do see the need for a turn and acceleration lane heading west. That would alleviate some of the back ups and probably reduce the impatience. The traffic on SR-73 was so light though that traffic moved better than I expected as people turned pretty freely, in groups even at times. I did notice a few times when people would pull out without adequate distance for a safe turn. That is where possibly an officer monitoring traffic there during those busy times would be adequate. Overall, with the exception of possibly a west bound merge lane I only observed unsafe people, not an unsafe intersection. If someone feels uncomfortable navigating an east bound turn we now have a nice intersection at Ranches Parkway they can use.
        The biggest problem I see is lack of planning. It was not wise at all to put a school so close to an arterial road. Highways were designed to expedite traffic, only allowing stops at major intersections. This is not a major intersection, this is typical government throwing money at something and still not fixing it but creating more problems.
        Let’s break this down. More accidents have been occurring since the school was placed there. Driver problem, road problem or school problem? I say mainly school problem with some driver problems caused by frustration. So trying to now put lights at an intersection that did not need fixing is like putting a Band-Aid on your hand when you cut your foot. Someone is not thinking.
        The original problem was caused when someone in government decided it was a good idea to put the school next to a highway. Because of their ineptitude, now someone else wants to step in and fix it by creating a new problem. Not only do we have a school too close to a highway, but we are now going to slow down the highway. That sounds about right. (By the way, I am not pointing fingers at you Mayor Pengra. We just need to get back to logical thinking as a whole. I happen to like a lot of what you are doing for our city. You did say though When it becomes obvious that there is an issue that is impacting people in serious ways, and that issue can be identified, there seems little choice but to take action.) I just think that the wrong issue has been identified, thus the wrong solution is being proposed.
        Instead, we need to look at alternate ways to correct their shortsightedness without causing more problems.
        So, to fix the cut on the foot, we obviously don’t cut blood flow off of a major artery. We just re-route the blood flow. For example, why don’t we close Sunset access to the highway and route traffic east and west on Autumn Way. People could exit to the east at Ranches Parkway with a light or to the west at Mustang Way with a merge lane. You would also split traffic to multiple exits rather than one. This way the highway is not impeded, traffic does not back up on Sunset, taxpayer money is saved, we are not pretending that we have accomplished something good for the masses and everyone is safer which is what we all want.

        Mike

  5. In regards to the cemetery, is it possible to put up some stakes with bright orange barricade tape around the perimeter of the grass areas until something permanent comes along?

    • Karen,

      Our parks department is placing signs on the property to identify the space as a cemetery and to communicate the rules which govern the appropriate use of the space. While I don’t want to use temporary measures to secure the property, we will do so if it becomes necessary. In the mean time, I hope to introduce a request to spend funds on the monument sign, fencing and landscaping for the cemetery in the following budget cycle.

  6. I agree with Karen. I wonder if there is a way that we could, if needs cheaply (but not tacky), tape off the cemetery grounds. I believe most people (who are playing on the grass) just don’t know what it is. I’ve driven by it many times and always wondered what it was until someone mentioned it on Facebook.

  7. When will decision or announcement be made as to which location they’ve selected? It’s stressful thinking it might be built here.

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