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Salt Lake County dateline briefs

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Murray

Three annexations that have been approved by the City Council will have to go through their protest periods again.

The Salt Lake County Boundary Commission has ruled that because the city allowed 60 days for the protests, it did not follow the annexation law properly. That law says protest periods must be 30 days.

Because of the ruling, the City Council will have to accept the annexation petitions again, then allow 30 days for protests before it can approve the annexations. During the last protest hearings, the Salt Lake County Council wavered between protesting the petitions and allowing them to happen.

The three annexations include 2,730 residents. They are all primarily residential areas.

Salt Lake City

Masks may be outlawed during the 2002 Olympics, but extra taxicabs may be welcomed in if the Salt Lake City Council makes a pair of up-to-the-wire decisions Tuesday.

The council's second-to-last meeting before the Olympics has on its agenda two proposed ordinances: one that would temporarily suspend the limit on the number of taxicabs that can travel Salt Lake streets, only during the Winter Games; and another that would prohibit protesters from wearing masks to conceal their identities.

The council will consider adopting both ordinances during its 6 p.m. public meeting on the third floor of the City-County Building, 451 S. State. For information call 535-7600.

Sandy

The City Council has approved a water-rate increase to cover the costs of improvements to the stormwater system.

The increase of $2 will not affect many water bills, since a $5 monthly charge for improved street lighting has been eliminated for most residents, spokesman Chris Hillman said. The increase will cover the $12 million bond.

The stormwater-system improvements will cost about $14 million. This will include a $5.1 million sewer line under 8600 South and additional retention ponds throughout the city. The difference between the bond and the project cost will come from sales-tax revenue, Hillman said.

The City Council decided to pursue the project and approved the bond because of the low interest rates.

West Jordan

The city is switching to a water-billing method that encourages conservation.

The new target-billing method would consider the number of people per household, the size of the property and landscape requirements. An acceptable or expected water usage range would be assigned to the property and conservative users would be rewarded with lower rates. As the user moves into ranges dubbed "inefficient" and "excessive," the water rates would increase.

"Our goal is to reduce rates and not to raise revenues," said water resource coordinator Carl Hanover. The new billing could be in place as early as August.

Overall, city officials hope to reduce water consumption by 15 percent in the next five years through public education programs, pricing incentives and leading by example.

West Valley City

There's a way around Olympic traffic.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the Utah Department of Transportation and the Salt Lake Organizing Committee will host a meeting at Stansbury Elementary School, 3050 S. 2700 West.

Officials will explain road closures and transportation issues that will affect residents during the Games. West Valley City's E Center is the site for hockey and speedskating events, and some roads around the building, including I-215, will be greatly affected.

"If people are prepared and well informed, they won't have cause for concern," said West Valley City community specialist Ingrid Burwell.