OV Incorporation Effort Moves Forward

Ogden Valley Incorporated > Feasibility > OV Incorporation Effort Moves Forward

Compiled by Shanna Francis

“Your Valley, Your Voice,” that is the call from sponsors behind the incorporation of Ogden Valley, who say they are pleased to announce that a recent study by an independent consulting firm, LRB Public Finance Advisors, commissioned by the state of Utah’s Lieutenant Governor’s Office, has concluded that Ogden Valley, as an incorporated entity, will be financially able to sustain itself at the same level of service currently provided by Weber County. Good news for Valley residents who are interested in local administrative control of this mountain community.

The feasibility study was completed December 7, with findings indicating that incorporation would likely result in a five-percent budget surplus when available revenues are compared to current expenses. This indication of a surplus has allowed the incorporation process to proceed.

The next step in the incorporation process is the scheduling of two public meetings where the private consultant, LRB, will present their findings and then take questions from the public. The first of these two public meetings will be held January 30, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. at Snowcrest Junior High in Eden. The date for the second meeting is yet to be determined.

After the two presentations regarding the results of the feasibility study, a second petition will be distributed for signatures, asking for the community’s support of incorporation. This petition requires signatures by private landowners representing 10% of the total private acreage located within the proposed incorporation boundaries, which represents 7% of the total private property value. In addition, signatures need to include at least 10% of the registered voters within the boundary. With the collection of these signatures, the question as to whether Ogden Valley should incorporate will then be placed on the November 2024 ballot. If a simple majority of the voters within the proposed new city agree to incorporating, in the next election new city government officials will be voted into office to represent the newly incorporated Ogden Valley community.

Common Questions & Answers

Why should Ogden Valley incorporate? Ogden Valley residents represent roughly 2.8% of Weber County’s population and only 1.8% of its registered voters. It’s time for locally elected leadership that is dedicated to supporting the Ogden Valley community and the vision and values adopted in the 2016 Ogden Valley General Plan. In other words, it’s time for Ogden Valley to have local representation where our voices are heard.

Why not leave things the way they are with administration of Ogden Valley under the jurisdiction of the Weber County commissioners? Currently, the three-member County Commission functions as both the executive and legislative body for Ogden Valley (except for incorporated Huntsville Town), along with all the rest of the unincorporated areas of Weber County. That’s a lot of power in the hands of three individuals, especially when two, and sometimes all three, don’t even live in Ogden Valley. This occurs because the entire county votes for the commissioners, and Ogden Valley’s voting pool is relatively small compared to the rest of the county (approximately 1.8%). Thus, the commissioners often make decisions that may not represent the best interest of our local community, which is very distinct from the rest of the county—geographically, economically, and demographically.

Will property taxes increase if Ogden Valley incorporates? No. A recent analysis outlined in the currently released Feasibility Study undertaken by an independent third-party contractor, determined that the five-year projected revenues for the proposed incorporated area of Ogden Valley would exceed costs by more than five percent for the same level of service currently provided by the county. The independent feasibility study completed by LRB Public Finance Advisors for the Lieutenant Governor’s Office estimates that taxes for Valley residents will not increase due to incorporation. The full report can be viewed at OgdenValleyInc.org along with other reports relevant to Ogden Valley. We strongly recommend reading the study prior to the first public meeting to be held Tuesday, January 30 at 6:00 p.m. at Snowcrest Jr. High School where LRB will explain their findings and entertain questions from the audience.

Who will run or administer an incorporated Ogden Valley? Ogden Valley residents—elected by Ogden Valley residents—those living full-time within the boundaries of the newly incorporated area. Your newly elected neighbors will serve as both the executive and legislative bodies of our community. Local elections will be held one year after Ogden Valley voters cast their support for incorporating. Your representatives will then be placed in office by you—not the rest of the county! The 2020 U.S. census notes the population of Weber County as 262,223, covering 659 square miles from which our current representatives (three county commissioners) are drawn.

In contrast, the 2023 population of Ogden Valley was approximately 7,387, covering only 76.6 square miles. Thus, as an incorporated community, the success of electing individuals who truly represent the residents of Ogden Valley is heightened as this means of representation is much more targeted and precise.

What is the proposed name for the newly incorporated city? While the proposed name for the incorporated city is Ogden Valley, the familiar neighborhood names and road signs like Eden, Liberty, North Fork, South Fork, Middle Fork, and Nordic Valley, etc. will remain. Individual zip codes are established and maintained by the U.S. Postal Service for their convenience in establishing mail delivery routes and customer services. They do not define political entities.

Who submitted the application for a feasibility study? Mark Ferrin of Eden is the primary sponsor of this initiative. Mark and his family are long-time Valley residents whose ancestors helped settle the Valley. He and his family, like most of us, are interested in ensuring Valley residents have a larger stake in and influence over the governance of their community. Mr. Ferrin is supported by several established Valley residents, including co-sponsors and committee members Nick Dahlkamp, Shanna Francis, Brandi Hammon, Richard Webb, and Jeannie Wendell.

Is there a map defining the proposed boundary of incorporated Ogden Valley? Yes, a copy of the boundary map may be found here at OgdenValleyInc.org.

How will incorporation affect the general plan? A great deal of effort and public input went into developing Ogden Valley’s general plan. However, many of the desires and goals outlined in the plan still have not been implemented through county ordinance or code as intended. One of the aims of incorporation is to ensure that our community-adopted general plan is used as the vision and guiding element in the administration of Ogden Valley, including the adoption of planning and zoning ordinances that support the general plan.

If the community votes to incorporate, what happens to current planning and zoning ordinances governing the Valley? State law holds that when a new city or town is incorporated, current zoning ordinances remain in place until the community chooses to change them through the designated legal public process as outlined by state law.

How many votes will it take to incorporate Ogden Valley? A simple majority of full-time registered voters living within the boundary of the incorporated area, meaning just one vote over 50%.

Will I lose rights, such as the ability to own multiple animals on my property or to hunt? Will city administrators implement stricter laws, such as dictating what color to paint my home, etc.? The answer is NO! The incorporation effort is not motivated by a desire to restrict the voice of the people and their rights, but to empower their voice so the community has more say in local laws, regulations, and outcomes.

How would an incorporated Ogden Valley pay for city services? A full breakdown is available in the completed Feasibility Study that can be found at OgdenValleyInc.org. Basically, the following funds would cover the operational costs of an incorporated Ogden Valley:

  • Property Taxes
  • Sales Tax
  • Franchise Tax
  • Business Licenses
  • Building Permits
  • Transient Room Tax
  • Class B/C Road Funds

Additional funds not included in the study could be sought as they become available or by project including:

  • RAMP funds
  • Federal grants
  • Developer concessions

How would Ogden Valley maintain its roads? All state roads are maintained by UDOT, which they will continue to maintain, including:

  • Highway 39 that winds its way through Ogden Canyon and along the southside of Pineview Reservoir to 100 S. in Huntsville where it turns east towards Monte Cristo.
  • Highway 158, from the spillway heading north along the west side of Pineview up to Powder Mountain.
  • Highway 167: Trappers Loop from Mountain Green to Huntsville’s Highway 39.

The North Ogden Divide and Powder Mountain’s upper roads remain the responsibility of
Weber County and North Ogden City, as they are located outside the boundary of the proposed
incorporated area.

The maintenance of the remaining 112 miles of roads within the Valley will be the responsibility of the incorporated city. Estimated expenses are included in the feasibility study, and includes snow removal, which would be contracted out.

Are Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, and Nordic Valley part of the incorporated area? At this time Snowbasin and Powder Mountain are not part of the incorporated area. However, Nordic Valley is.

What general responsibilities will the new city have? The city will be responsible for executive, legislative, and judicial duties within their jurisdiction and will be administered by a mayor and city council. These duties include those traditionally carried out by a city: record keeping; financial, electoral, and auditing duties; planning and zoning, building inspections, and engineering; public safety, road maintenance, and infrastructure development and improvements; and weed and animal control, etc.

What responsibilities stay with the county? Those typical of all county administrative bodies: The county jail; schools; libraries; county, state, and federal elections; fire departments, etc.

How is the incorporation effort paid for? The Lieutenant Governor’s office covered the cost of the recent feasibility study ($25,500). When voters vote for incorporation, this cost will be reimbursed over a period of time and is already included in the feasibility study as an expense to the city.

The survey of the newly proposed city boundary has been funded by supporters and sponsors of the incorporation process. Legal support has been provided pro-bono up to this point and all other support has been donated.

Sponsors of the incorporation process are still seeking donations. Any funds that are donated and not used will be donated to Ogden Valley Community Foundation of Ogden Valley. Donations to the incorporation initiative can be made by here.

How can I help? If you would like to help with this history-making initiative, we invite you to volunteer, donate, or buy a hat, T-shirt or hoodie to show your love and support of Ogden Valley and your desire to have local representation. You can sign up at here.

Please register for updates at OgdenValleyInc.org and volunteer if interested. Ask your neighbors to visit OgdenValleyInc.org and follow Ogden Valley Incorporation on Facebook!

Remember, it’s your Valley. Now let’s ensure your voice will be heard.