A Morgan County Councilman provided the Morgan County School District with up-to-date information regarding potential residential development.
Councilman Robert Kilmer told the district that 453 building lots have been platted, approved, and “ready to dig a hole and put a house on them.”
There are 29 active single-family building permits on county books right now, and an additional 16 in various stages of review. These 45 are homes that have not been built yet, Kilmer said.
However, numbers substantially increase when looking at future entitlements, Kilmer said.
“These are future things that I want to bring your attention to,” Kilmer said.
For example, the golf course community of Rivala is planning 561 units. The Cottonwoods has an additional 605 lots planned in future phases. Rollins Ranch has an application in with the Morgan County Planning Commission for another 50 lots. A new developer purchased a part of Rollins Ranch from the former developer and is calling its proposed 101 building lots “Ponderosa.” Northside Creek in Mountain Green is planning 40 lots. Whisper Ridge has 453 approved lots.
County staff and consultants are currently reviewing plans for 2,500 units at Snowbasin and 533 units dubbed the Mountain Green Village near Trappers Loop.
So, the total of current and entitled lots add up to more than 4,800, Kilmer said.
“The wild card is when they decide to do these things,” he said.
When the school district applies an estimate of 1.3 students per rooftop they may have to educate in the future, and 450 students per school, “This is a tremendous impact on our county and school district,” said Ken Durrant, school board member.
The information was presented at May’s school board meeting before members of the public were invited to address the board.
Three residents spoke out about the voted local levy facing the community June 25.
“I believe in education, but right now I am struggling with the proposed voted levy,” said Brent Anderson, whose mother was an educator. “The easiest thing to do is take the path of least resistance and raise taxes. It is going to hurt those on low-incomes, fixed incomes, and with homes and businesses.”
Anderson proposed the formation of a task force of business people to help the district balance its budget.
“Untapped resources of volunteers can help, if you will let us help you,” said Anderson, who has been self employed for 19 years. “You won’t have to raise taxes again.”
Two residents didn’t agree.
“I favor the proposition because it is needed. I am a proponent of the kids and I have their back,” said resident Kelly Wright, who is employed in the tax and revenue division of the Salt Lake County district attorney’s office.
Wright, the county’s former attorney, suggested those on low and fixed incomes who can’t afford an increase in property taxes search out programs that offer financial tax relief. School districts that have a voted local levy in place can qualify for additional state revenue, he said.
“The bottom line is nobody wants a tax increase,” Wright said. “But I trust (the school board) and I know there is a need. At the end of the day, we will be grateful for this opportunity.”
“We have a problem. I feel the pain of these teachers,” said resident Scott Duncan, whose wife Michelle teaches third grade at Mountain Green Elementary. “Professional days are gone. Money for school supplies is gone. Money is coming out of my own pocket to pay for school supplies. It is just wrong.”
Duncan encouraged the board and community to view the website at www.formorgankids.com.
“We banded together and got a group together,” he said. “A $350,000 nut is a big nut to crack. This is not an easy thing. We need some solutions quickly.”