LOCAL NEWS

Kaysville City Changes Course On Fiber Utility Department

Nov 7, 2019, 11:13 PM | Updated: Nov 8, 2019, 9:04 am

KAYSVILLE, Utah — In a stunning reversal Thursday night, Kaysville City Mayor Katie Witt requested to repeal the creation of the already-approved fiber utility department, something opponents of the project have been pushing for for months.

A consensus among city leaders is an accomplishment in and of itself but satisfaction for every voter is a whole other matter.

“Nobody wants a fight here,” said Nephi Harvey, a member of the Coalition for Responsible Kaysville Fiber. “Is bonded fiber really the solution for Kaysville?”

Now, after months of sometimes heated debate, knocking doors and making phone calls on both sides, supporters and opponents of creating a fiber utility department may, to the surprise of many, be one step closer to an agreement.

“We’ve been trying to get that full discussion for months now and we’re happy to see it finally breaking loose,” Harvey said.

For weeks, Harvey and other opponents with Responsible Kaysville Fiber have hit the pavement and gathered many of the signatures they need to put the fiber issue on the ballot.

At the same time, the numbers are in for the city’s initial version of a vote – an opt-out form.

“We have had more citizen engagement on this than any project ever in Kaysville,” Witt said.

According to the city, 57% of households returned the form to the city by the October 31 deadline. Of those who responded, 32% opted in to the Kaysville fiber service and 25% opted out.

Those who didn’t return their form automatically opted in.

“I put no value whatsoever into the opt out,” Harvey said. “I think it’s a scam.”

Still, Witt said she wouldn’t have changed the process of getting to this point.

“No regrets. Absolutely not. And I am just thrilled with the amount of passion and effort on both sides of this to fully vet this project,” she said. “What we’ve ended up with over the past several months is more citizen engagement, more fine-tuning of the project.”

And now, a stunning reversal in that process.

During Thursday’s city council meeting, Witt requested the council repeal the fiber utility department that they approved in September and, like opponents have been asking, put it on the ballot.

“Really what I want is I want to see a citizen initiative on super-fast, lightning-speed internet here in Kaysville,” Witt said.

The city council agreed to vote on the repeal in two weeks.

“I’m very cautiously, happily looking forward to that,” Harvey said.

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Kaysville City Changes Course On Fiber Utility Department