Utah: All of Utah County Now Part of UTA

SALT LAKE CITY It took 26 years, but all of Utah County now is part of a public transit district. The Utah Transit Authority Board of Trustees approved a resolution Wednesday to annex all remaining Utah County communities into the district, an action that will result in about $200,000 per year in additional sales-tax revenue for the transit authority.

"We're finally getting done what we've wanted to get done for a long time," said Utah County Commissioner Larry Ellertson, who sits on the UTA Board of Trustees. Unlike Salt Lake, Davis and Weber counties, Utah County did not join the transit district as a whole. Instead, it's been a piecemeal process that started in 1985 when Provo and Orem became part of the district. The addition of Santaquin to the district last year left only small communities Cedar Fort, Elk Ridge, Fairfield, Genola, Goshen, Vineyward and Woodland Hills, as well unincorporated areas of the county  as nonmembers.

"We envision in the future that the transit needs will spread throughout the county, and we felt it was appropriate that all of the county was part of the district," said Hugh Johnson, UTA regional general manager. UTA now will receive .526 of a cent of every dollar of sales tax collected throughout the county. Areas that were not members of the district already were playing a quarter-cent of that to help fund commuter rail and critical road projects in Utah County.

"The purpose is to allow us to provide services throughout the county as it grows," Johnson said. The annexation previously was approved by the Utah County Commission. Timeline of Utah County cities joining UTA 1985 Provo and Orem joined. 1989 American Fork, Lehi, Lindon, and Pleasant Grove joined. 1990 Springville joined. 1992 Alpine, Cedar Hills and Highland joined. 1995 Mapleton, Payson, Salem and Spanish Fork joined. 2008 Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs joined. 2010 ? Santaquin joined. 2011 All remaining cities and towns, as well as unincorporated areas, are annexed into the transit district. E-mail: jpage@desnews.com

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