The City Council has voted 3-1 to create a controversial special improvement district for curbs, gutters, sidewalks and other improvements along Antelope Drive between Hill Field Road and Church Street.
The proposal was a compromise between the council and residents. It lowered the total cost for residents from $252,000 to $164,000. Residents will pay improvement costs on property up to 120 feet wide and the city will pick up the tab on any frontage beyond 120 feet. However, if any of the excess property - mostly farmland now - is developed within the next 15 years, owners will be required to reimburse the city for the cost of the improvements."This is the end of a long journey," City Manager Alex Jensen said, explaining the process for the improvement district started 20 years ago.
In addition to excess frontage costs, the city is also paying for engineering costs and relocation costs involving mailboxes, secondary water lines and drainage ditches.
Mayor Jerry Stevenson said the improvement project and related road widening is the city's second-largest construction project ever. He has directed staff to look ahead and be sure any improvements that can be made along the roadway are done now, so the city won't be tearing up the highway anytime soon after it is finished this fall.
Some residents on Antelope Drive questioned the requirement for sidewalks in front of their vacant farmland, but Gary Crane, Layton City attorney, said it's wise to have it in place.
"We'd rather take the (liability) risk with the sidewalk than without," he said.
Even if residents can't always keep snow off the sidewalk in front of their farmland in the winter, the council said it prefers that to no sidewalk at all.
Although Antelope is designed as an arterial street, the council doesn't believe many trucks will use the road until it is connected to U.S. 89.
City Councilwoman Ethel Adams didn't take part in the discussion or voting on the special improvement district because she lives along the affected portion of Antelope Drive.
Gibbons and Reed Construction has been awarded a $1,916,864 contract to begin widening Antelope Drive May 16.