In a joint meeting on Thursday meant to address boundary concerns between Logan and Nibley — and ultimately negotiate an agreement to resolve the zigzag border between the two cities — a decision was once again delayed.
But a resolution was passed by both municipalities to form a committee comprised of two members from each council to create a proposed agreement within 30 days.
“Our philosophy is we’ve been talking about this for a long time, and our goal to move this forward,” said Logan Mayor Holly Daines at the meeting. “We just thought the highway made a clear dividing line … Let’s do this in incremental steps, but let’s do this.”
Daines added that while the discussion has been in the works for at least six years, Logan had “asked too much” in different proposals. The current proposal released several of those “asks” and harks back to what was originally proposed with then-Mayor Craig Petersen, according to Logan Council Member Jeannie Simmonds.
But Nibley Council Member Norm Larsen added “a lot’s changed in five years,” such as the high-density apartment complex on the northern border of the Nibley at the Virgil Gibbons Heritage Park (known by locals as Firefly Park), which though annexed into Logan will strain Nibley’s infrastructure.
Logan’s proposal would cut the cities at 2200 South in Nibley and divide U.S. Highway 89/91 down the middle to clean up the border, but Nibley officials questioned whether such a clear-cut solution would address concerns dealing with zoning on either side of the boundary.
Nibley Mayor Shaun Dustin said the city would like to run an economic cost analysis before any agreement is finalized.
“The last time we did a cost analysis on this, we didn’t plan on a population of 30% of our city going in up the street from us,” he said. Developments like that “affect our budget, and it affects our social structure.”
Daines said in response, “Sure, people from the development will go use the park, but I’ve read one of Mayor Dustin’s recent newsletters that said, ‘Go use Logan’s dog parks since we don’t have any.’ You know, it goes both ways.”
In order to reduce contention by improving communication, the joint resolution to create a four-member commission from both councils was passed unanimously to “identify trigger points” — such as the problematic Ted’s Station intersection — along the border and amicably resolve issues.
“Instinctively, we all know straightening the boundary is going to reduce the conflicts by a lot,” Dustin said.
While Daines said she knew the meeting was more of a workshop, she had hoped to get further in the discussion than time ultimately allowed.
Nibley resident Mickey Duke was frustrated by the lack of consensus despite almost a decade of negotiations that have yet to resolve the boundary issue.
“It’s almost like, ‘What’s the point of having a council?’” he said. “If we draw a line down the highway and split it there it eliminates setbacks on our side and lets them deal with setbacks on their side. Be done with it.”
Simmonds apologized for questioning the proposal when it was first considered under then-Mayor Petersen and was the first to volunteer to represent Logan. Several other members (apart from Tom Jensen, who was out of town) also volunteered, but it has not been announced who will join Nibley’s Beus and Tom Bernhardt on the liaison committee.