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The Sanpete Messenger

Proposed Sanpete Steel annexation could be test case for future growth in Moroni

Proposed Sanpete Steel annexation could be test case for future growth in Moroni

 

By John Hales

Staff writer

Sept. 21, 2017

 

MORONI—Moroni City is considering annexing a sizeable tract of industrial property that some people feel could benefit to the city economy.

Believe it or not, the city is not talking about Norbest.

But a proposal to annex 25 acres where Sanpete Steel is located could provide a test case for doing the same with Norbest in the future.

“This would be a good starting point,” Moroni Mayor Luke Freeman said during a meeting of the city council on Sept. 7.

It’s not a plan so much as just an idea at this point, Freeman said. “We’re just starting to get enough information to start looking through it.”

But the idea has advantages, and proponents described them.

The advantage for Sanpete Steel, said Councilman Thayne Atkinson, who is an employee of the company, is that annexation will make it easier for the steel company to build on its land.

The difficulty Sanpete Steel currently faces in building on the property is that part of the site—the corporate office portion—is inside city limits but the storage area is in unincorporated Sanpete County. Therefore, the company has to deal with two sets of land-use or construction regulations.

The obvious carrot for Moroni is the property and sales tax revenue generated by Sanpete Steel. “It all ought to be going to the city,” Atkinson said, adding that considering the company’s plans to install a million-dollar machine, its potential for sales will grow.

“So it’s got to happen; that could be real good for the city,” he said.

The drawback, as in any annexation in any city, is that once the area is annexed, Moroni is on the hook to provide services.

It’s that issue, particularly with regard to water, that has stymied consideration of annexing the Norbest property.

“We talked a little bit about annexing the processing plant. Is that out?” asked Councilman Todd Anderson.

The short answer is, not completely.

The longer answer is that Moroni and Norbest would have to hammer out how the city would supply water to the company.

Norbest, Freeman said after the meeting, draws from its own wells, and uses about a million gallons a day. The city’s total storage capacity is half that.

But while he was talking about the problem, Freeman didn’t come off as a naysayer. On the contrary, he sounded positive about such an idea—if the water question could be answered.

They mayor said other areas surrounding the city were good candidates for annexation, if the Sanpete Steel plan works out well.

It might be a surprise to some, but North Sanpete Middle School is not in the city limits. Nor are several residential properties in the same area.