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EVEN OPPONENTS SAY UTA BOARD IS LIKELY TO OK LIGHT-RAIL RESOLUTION

SHARE EVEN OPPONENTS SAY UTA BOARD IS LIKELY TO OK LIGHT-RAIL RESOLUTION

Utah Transit Authority board members who oppose a light-rail project are predicting a resolution allowing continued work on the project to pass in a key vote Wednesday.

Dan Berman and Sam Taylor, UTA board members who oppose continued work on the light-rail project, say that they expect a resolution supporting the work will pass but say at least three board members from Salt Lake County will vote against the resolution.Steven Randall, board chairman, said he will vote for the resolution but wouldn't speculate on whether it will pass.

The proposed resolution "reaffirms" the UTA board's support of light rail or a fixed guideway transit system to be built along the I-15 corridor. The vote is scheduled after eight months of study and discussion about transportation alternatives.

"We've talked about it (the issue) for months. The critical thing is that we set a direction for the staff. This (resolution) doesn't guarantee light rail will be built, " Randall said of Wednesday's vote.

Proponents of the light-rail plan and redirected bus service say the mass transit project, proposed from Sandy to downtown Salt Lake City, would help reduce gridlock on I-15 and help solve the Wasatch Front's air quality woes. A vote in favor of the resolution will allow UTA staff to pursue funds for final design work on the project.

The resolution says UTA can't build a light-rail system if it requires a sales tax increase, it diminishes existing bus service or less than 50 percent of project costs come from federal funds.