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West Valley City voters to decide on property tax increase for trails, parks

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WEST VALLEY CITY — Voters in West Valley City will have the opportunity to decide in November whether they want to pay more in property tax for the city to create trails and parks.

The proposed $25 million general obligation bond would mean a property tax increase of $25.02 annually on an average $177,000 home for 20 years.

"We are cautiously optimistic our voters will support this bond in November," said Mayor Mike Winder.

The mayor said he believes improving trails and parks will increase property values, jump-start economic development, help residents be healthier and create jobs.

The bond funding would be used to create a new Granger Park in the West Valley City Center. The area could include water features, picnic areas, playgrounds and a skate park.

Bond funds also would go for expanding the city's trail system for walking and biking, adding 27.5 miles and acquiring about nine acres of open space.

Trail plans include completing the Cross Towne Trail, the Utah and Salt Lake Canal trail and two north/south trails, including one parallel to the Mountain View Corridor.

City officials also want to purchase more park properties.

Council members say right now is a good time for the project because construction costs are reasonable and interest rates are low.

"West Valley City is a great place to live," said Councilman Corey Rushton. "We are calling on our community to reinvest in our city to make it even better."

Several residents voiced support for more open space during Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

"When you close your eyes and picture your ideal community, do you picture trees, lakes, blue sky? Or do you picture houses, buildings, parking lots?" asked resident Kevin Fayles.

The city is growing, Fayles said, and there is a limited amount of land.

"If we don't make these investments now to enhance our trails and parks, the moment and the land may pass forever," he said.

City officials are discussing plans and drawing diagrams of the potential trails and parks proposal to present to the public within the next couple months.

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