The Utah Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal by seven Weber County residents challenging the financing method of a conference and performing arts center in Ogden.

"The issues raised are so insubstantial as to not merit further proceedings or review," the one-sentence decision read."I'm elated," said Weber County Commissioner Spencer Stokes. "I feel like the case played out exactly how the lower court said it would. This has all just been a stall tactic by the plaintiffs.

"The ball will get rolling now . . . things will probably really start to fly by March."

The ruling ends a seven-month battle that began with nine residents demanding that the $36.3 million project be put to a public vote. The County Commission instead decided to issue lease revenue bonds to finance the project under the guidelines of the Municipal Building Authority.

The nine residents sued, alleging the plan to issue bonds without a public vote is a violation of the Utah Constitution and the building authority law because the conference center is not a "needed" project.

Second District Judge Michael Lyon ruled the financing was legal, but seven of the nine residents appealed, and the Supreme Court heard arguments Nov. 7.

Plaintiffs' spokesman Pete Graham conceded Wednesday's decision marked the end of the road.

"I think it is a travesty because all it does is circumvent the state constitution. I'm surprised this is the result after this length of time," he said.

Graham urged citizens to lobby the Legislature to revise the building authority law. "The act opens up all levels of government to the possibility of influence and corruption," he said.

Ogden Mayor Glenn Mecham said he and the other project partners now expect the bonds to be issued by Jan. 1 and will work quickly to help offset time lost to the legal fight.

The county already has received a commitment from a bond insurer, Stokes said. He said the plan is also to repay by the end of this month the $3.72 million the county borrowed from the landfill reserve fund to purchase the former ZCMI building.

The building will be renovated as part of the new county office complex.