Although Traverse Ridge no longer separates Lehi and Draper, something else has come between the Utah Valley-Salt Lake Valley neighbors: Micron Technology Inc.

About 900 acres of the 2,200 acres Micron has tied up with options to buy lie within Draper's borders, which extend into Utah County. Draper annexed the land eight years ago for a luxury housing and resort project that northern Utah County residents disdained and which later fell through.Micron has petitioned Lehi to absorb 883 acres of unincorporated Utah County for a $1.3 billion computer memory chip manufacturing plant. None of those acres are in Draper. The annexation would create a common border between Lehi and Draper.

Lehi has committed to bring water, power, natural gas and sewer service to the site. But Draper is waiting in the wings should Lehi stumble.

Lehi perceives Draper's overture to the Boise-based company as hostile.

"Now that Micron is in they smell a little money and they want to hold on to it," said Lehi Mayor Bill Gibbs.

The Utah County Commission and Draper city officials in the past discussed the city de-annexing property on the Utah County side, but no commitments were made. Micron's annual property tax is estimated to be $5.14 million.

Draper officials have told Micron they're willing to help in any way they can - including providing water and sewer service and other infrastructure - should Micron's plans with Lehi fall through at the last minute.

Paul Glauser, Draper's director of community development, said the city has no illusions that Micron might jump ship and turn to Draper for services and possibly ask for annexation into the city.

"Draper is not out to somehow circumvent Lehi or anything like that, he said. "We want to be a good neighbor. We simply want to make Micron aware of what's available."

Glauser said it's Draper's understanding that the sewer treatment capacity in northern Utah County may not have a lot of excess capacity.

The Timpanogos Special Service District, which provides sewer service for Lehi, is running near capacity. But the district plans to build a second treatment plant west of Lehi near the Jordan River, increasing daily volume from 10 million gallons to about 17 million gallons, said Garland Mayne, district manager. Lehi intends to enlarge a line running from the plant.

"They're doing a lot of talking, but I don't see anything being done," Gibbs said.

Many Utah Valley residents and politicians believe the county erred in allowing Draper to take the land in 1987.

"Generally, it's not good policy to have cities annex across county lines," said Commissioner Gary Herbert. The potential conflict between Lehi and Draper might be a good example of why.

"That should have never been cut out in the first place," Gibbs said.

Draper Councilman Darrell Smith said city officials should "probably" meet with their Lehi counterparts. Smith said Draper council members have heard rumors that their neighbors to the south may be upset with them.

Smith and other Draper officials acknowledged there may still be some hard feelings in Lehi over the annexation. But if Micron and Lehi ever want to annex Micron's Draper property into Lehi, Draper council members have indicated they're willing to talk about it, Smith said.

"Micron has expressed that they have no plans right now to address the annexation of this particular property from Draper," said Debby Wilson, Draper economic development coordinator.

Micron also has no immediate plans to expand into Draper.

"I think it would be difficult because it is steeply sloped," said Julie Nash, company spokeswoman.

Micron secured the land as a buffer, but also as an investment. It hasn't ruled out subdividing or selling for future development.

Unbeknownst to each other, Draper and Lehi were competing for the massive Micron project.

The Utah County site Micron eventually chose and four other areas were identified in February as contingency sites after Payson was ruled out, said Sharon Young, marketing executive for the Utah Division of Business and Economic Development. But officials in each of those communities were not told the name of the company or that other areas were being considered.

Officials in Lehi and Draper hoped the Utah County site would be chosen and that they would be the ones to annex Micron and supply infrastructure.

Young said any conflict between Lehi and Draper, though, is more likely a product of the past than a result of the bidding war over Micron.

"I'm really sad to see . . . hopefully a feud will not develop," Young said. "Micron is working hard to resolve some of those issues."