(KCPW News) Salt Lake County's top priority for the next legislative session could be townships. The Council votes this afternoon on the issue. The state's township law expires in 2010, and County Councilman Mark Crockett explains this could open up these unincorporated areas to piecemeal annexation from neighboring municipalities.
"Even the people who would like to incorporate would like to see the township law extended so that it's an option that they have. I think most people would really like to be able to protect their boundaries and to protect their tax base. And so they'd like – whether in the county or by incorporating – to be able to stay together."
Crockett represents Millcreek Township, which is the county's largest of five townships. More than 120,000 people live in the county's townships. They receive county services, including fire, sheriff and garbage pick-up. But they have their own community councils and planning and zoning commissions.
However, Under House Bill 40, townships must choose if they want to remain as they are, incorporate as a city or join an existing city. Crockett says, after a survey released this summer, the county should support the majority who want to remain unincorporated.
"I think that our job is to make it legally possible, if we can. And then give residents every reason that they should want to stay, by making townships more and more attractive and stronger within the county," Crockett says.
As for which way the county council will vote, Crockett says he'd be surprised if the issue fails to pass unanimously. The council considers the issue during a work session this afternoon.