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FARMINGTON PROMOTES SITE BUT FEARS IT MAY LOSE OUT FOR LACK OF CLOUT WITH REGENTS

SHARE FARMINGTON PROMOTES SITE BUT FEARS IT MAY LOSE OUT FOR LACK OF CLOUT WITH REGENTS

City officials believe the property they are offering in west Farmington for what could be the state's next community college is the best site, but they aren't sure they will get a full hearing by the Board of Regents.

The board meets Tuesday to review the sites, two adjacent ones in Farmington dubbed Site A and Site B, and one in Layton."We have a good site," City Manager Max Forbush told the City Council Wednesday. "But we're a little afraid we won't get a good hearing. Whether we get the selection or not is up in the air."

The council decided that Mayor Greg Bell will contact the board and see if the city can be given an opportunity to make a verbal presentation at Tuesday's board meeting.

While the city believes the 103-acre Site A it is offering north of Clark Lane at 1100 West Street is better than the Layton site, the council also fears that Layton has more political clout and that could be the deciding factor.

Another factor in the formula is what type of facility the regents want to build, Forbush said.

It could be a satellite campus to Weber State University in Ogden, which could swing it toward Layton; it could be affiliated with the University of Utah, which might favor Farmington; it could be an extension of the state's technical college system; or, Forbush said, it could be a combination of the three, based on conversations he's had with a board staff member.

"Basically, the Board of Regents has to decide what they want. They're faced with building the college of the future and they don't have a clear vision of what that will be," Forbush said.

The city has submitted geo-tech-ni-cal and environmental studies of the sites, which Forbush said includes about five acres of wetlands.

But that could be an asset, Forbush said, if the wetlands are combined into a single site and turned into a preserve or biological study area. The county, which has jurisdiction over flood control, is looking into obtaining federal funds to channelize Shepard Creek through the site, Forbush said, which could help the city's bid.

Forbush said the regents don't appear to be concerned about the fact that the bid includes a proposed off-ramp from I-15 to connect Burke Lane with 1100 West.

The off-ramp is being proposed as part of the package of rebuilding I-15 and U.S. 89 through Davis County, and UDOT appears to favor the concept, Forbush said, which strengthens its credibility with the regents.