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OREM OUTLINES PROJECTS THAT WILL USE $4 MILLION FROM FRANCHISE TAX HIKE

SHARE OREM OUTLINES PROJECTS THAT WILL USE $4 MILLION FROM FRANCHISE TAX HIKE

The City Council raised the franchise tax last month to pay for major capital projects and has now decided where that money will be spent.

The franchise tax increase is expected to raise an additional $4 million and the council Tuesday passed a resolution outlining what projects will be completed with the money.Jack Jones, public works director, presented the council with a list of capital improvement projects that he said need to be completed. But because the $4 million will not cover the costs of completing all projects he submitted a list of priority projects that could be completed.

Most of the projects are street improvements, but the top priority is the proposed Northridge Park, which would be built northeast of the Northridge Elementary School at about 1700 North and 100 East. Also included in the projects are traffic lights at the intersections of 800 East and 800 South, Orem Boulevard and 400 South and Orem Boulevard and 800 South.

One of the projects calls for improvements along Main Street from 1200 North to 800 North. But Councilman Kelvin Clayton said that the project should be extended to 400 North and that maybe another project could be delayed to allow enough money for that extension.

"I think our east-west traffic flow is much better than our north-south traffic flow . . . and I think it would be well to push that through to 400 North," Clayton said.

Jones said about $90,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds will be used to extend the project to about 600 North and that if the city has any money left over from the $4 million it could be used to extend the project to 400 North.

Councilman Keith Hunt asked Jones if traffic signals really help traffic flow and said that they may actually slow down traffic if motorists have to wait at lights during off hours. But Jones said the lights will be equipped with activators and that traffic along 800 East and Orem Boulevard would only stop if necessary.

"We've been stalling on traffic lights for some time and I believe they would really help traffic flow," Jones said.

Most council members expressed the desire to complete the other projects but said that the city does not have the money at this time.

"I guess the sad thing is that we can't do all of them. I wish there was just more money," Mayor Blaine Willes said.

Jones said the city usually allocates about $600,000 a year for capital improvements and said the city would use that money to complete the remaining projects over the next several years.

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(Additional information)

Street improvements

Projects to be completed with $4 million in franchise tax revenues:

Project Cost

Northridge Park $400,000

Orem Blvd., 400 North to 800 North $460,000

1200 West, Center Street to 800 South $540,000

1200 West, Center Street to 800 North $600,000

1200 North, State Street to 800 East $700,000

1600 North, 1030 West to I-15 $250,000

Main Street, 800 North to 1200 North $400,000

200 North, 400 East to 800 East $200,000

Center Street, 800 East to east boundary $210,000

Traffic lights (3)