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Millcreek residents divided over compromise plan passed by legislature

MILLCREEK, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Two opposing plans for the future of Millcreek ended with a compromise during the legislative session. Now, some are saying the promises aren't adding up.
MILLCREEK, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Two opposing plans for the future of Millcreek ended with a compromise during the legislative session.

Now, some are saying the promises aren't adding up.

Millcreek resident, Mary Ann Matheson-Strong would like to see the place she calls home become its own city.

It was a big discussion on Utah’s Capitol Hill this legislative session and it ended with Senate Bill 216.

A compromise that saw Salt Lake County Mayor, Ben McAdams drop his request to lock in the boundaries of unincorporated salt lake county and remove the requirement for city boundaries to run contiguous in the county.

Some called the plan an attempt to form one giant city.

In return incorporation and annexation efforts were suspended until November, 2015.

The bill also creates a Municipal Services District that communities can opt-out of if they decide to.

Matheson-Strong consulted with specialized attorneys and says the way the bill is written now, that's just not the case.

"This legislation is terrifically harmful to Millcreek, it prevents their ability to incorporate and go forward with that process and it creates a Municipal Services District that would capture our revenues that we could never get out of," said Matheson-Strong.

Mayor McAdams says Millcreek will have the ability to incorporate with a vote in either 2015 or 2016, depending on how it plays out.

"We are finding consensus and common ground on an issue that's divided a community for 40 years," said McAdams.

The mayor does admit there was a technical error with the opt-out provision in the bill and says he plans to get that fixed in the next legislative session.

"A commitment we have made is they should have the ability to opt-out of shared regional services if that's what they desire," said McAdams.

Spokesperson for the Millcreek Incorporation Committee, Hugh Matheson helped negotiate the compromise.

He's confident the mayor and bill sponsors will stick to their word.

"This is the best of both worlds. This gives us a year to cool off, come to the table, negotiate the details," said Matheson.

Matheson-Strong is taking a more urgent approach, because to her the only guarantee is the one that's currently in writing.

"The legislators need to understand that what they passed may not have been represented accurately to them and I think it's time to take another look at this bill," said Matheson-Strong.

The Governor's Office says, like any other bill it will be reviewed thoroughly to make sure there are no unintended consequences.

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