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ENGINEER TO RESIGN, SAYS S. OGDEN OFFICIAL

City engineer Scott Nelson, who admitted last month to falsifying a city ordinance, has apparently agreed to resign.

"Scott and the mayor and I met before the council meeting Tuesday night," said councilman Randall Parkinson. "My under-stand-ing was there would be a letter of resignation."He confessed to the charges, and I believe it's the only right thing for him to do," Parkinson said. "I would give anything if this had not happened because I think the world of Scott. But we can't just sweep it under the carpet."

There remains some question as to whether the council will accept the resignation. Mayor George Goodell said Nelson's fate will be determined by the entire council.

"In the year and a half that I have been associated with Scott, I have had the highest regard for him. He's been a dedicated and loyal employee," Goodell said.

"What he did was to try to benefit the city, to complete an administrative error that was created back in 1987," the mayor said. "We are weighing every thing right now and will make a decision very soon."

Nelson has taken a leave from work and was not immediately available for comment.

Nelson last month admitted to creating a fraudulent copy of a 1987 city ordinance establishing a $700-per-home impact fee on houses in the Burch Creek area. He had been charged with two misdemeanor charges. A preliminary hearing is set for May 26 in 2nd Circuit Court.

Dan James, a member of the citizens group that first questioned the existence of the ordinance last year, says the city's delay in disciplining Nelson sends out a bad message.

"It's basically saying that lawbreakers are welcome employees of South Ogden. They need to take immediate action," James said.

Meantime, South Ogden's former mayor maintains the impact fee ordinance passed back in 1987 but can't explain why it's not on the books or why council minutes don't reflect that action.

Former Mayor Lew Wangsgard appeared before the current City Council on Tuesday and presented a statement signed by himself and all five members who served on the City Council in 1987. Even though the ordinance cannot be found, the statement said, "It has been common knowledge among city employees, developers and individual builders that this action had taken place and the fees were imposed for the specific benefit of the residents of this neighborhood."