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After seemingly endless politicking and finger-pointing, Utah's dean of transit quickly quelled fears Tuesday that road upgrades would rebuff rail projects across the Salt Lake Valley.

His demeanor calm, Utah Transit Authority General Manager John Inglish promised plainly that a new quarter-cent sales tax provides the resources to complete all four new TRAX spurs and commuter rail.

"The bottom line is: This is a package deal," Inglish assured a skittish cluster of politicians.

And all those rail lines, he pledged, will be running within seven to 10 years.

With that, the acrimony seemed to evaporate; lashing of the Legislature mostly ceased; and a room teeming with Salt Lake County's elected leaders celebrated honoring the transit wishes of voters, who approved the tax in November, albeit with no guarantee that roads would not overtake rails.

By tapping sales-tax cash first approved in 2000 on top of the latest levy, the county's mayors and County Council tweaked the project list Tuesday and set the stage for light-rail lines to West Jordan-South Jordan and West Valley City (deemed co-priorities on the new list).

Heavy commuter rail, stretching from northwest Salt Lake City to the Utah County boundary, remained No. 2, while the group also agreed to fund road widening on Interstate 80 between State Street and 1300 East.

But the Salt Lake City International Airport light-rail route - a political pawn during weeks of debate - as well as a new TRAX line in Draper also can be accelerated with rail cash accruing since 2000. All four lines should be humming by 2014-2017, Inglish said.

"This works because we beat inflation," he explained. "We bond [now]."

Inglish says bids and perhaps construction will begin next year.

Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon led a parade of smiles moments after Tuesday's Council of Governments vote, which included two dissenters. Corroon called it a "great day" for the county that will address regional congestion problems for decades to come, particularly on the west side he characterized as "in a crisis state."

"This motion allows for all of it to be done as quickly as the vision can be accomplished," beamed Dennis Nordfelt, the West Valley City mayor who recommended the final list.

The move marked a stunning contrast to the rhetoric leveled recently between state lawmakers and local leaders. County brass accused some legislators of the "ultimate bait and switch," suggesting they had hijacked transit priorities favored by voters for roads.

State lawmakers slowed the process multiple times either by bumping meetings or fussing over funding criteria. Insiders suggested lawmakers were holding the county hostage to ensure funding approval of a Major League Soccer stadium in Sandy, home to GOP House Speaker Greg Curtis.

"We were all made uncomfortable with the process," Inglish said.

This week, a list of 34 potential projects emerged, with road upgrades comprising the majority. But on Tuesday, all but I-80 were rejected. That includes extra money for the Mountain View Corridor, originally No. 4 on the list, which already is slated to get 25 percent of the new sales tax.

Democratic Councilman Joe Hatch, admittedly a partisan pawing hardest at the GOP-run Legislature, suggested this was one time "to take the politics out."

"We're building a system," he said. "I recognize that it requires a leap of faith, but I'm willing to take it."

Some angst remains, however, over the lopsided amount of funding to be funneled toward FrontRunner commuter rail.

"I support commuter rail, but the Legislature has to step up and fund it, not put it on the backs of Salt Lake County, argued Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall, who voted against Tuesday's action along with West Jordan Mayor David Newton.

Wall insisted intersections across west-side cities are a "failure" with no long-term solution.

What's more, the county's commuter-rail hand was forced, insisted Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore, because Utah County decided to join the transit game - late.

''Commuter rail is something that only came up because Utah County decided to step up to the plate,'' he said. ''The question is, 'Have they really stepped up to the plate? What happens if they change their minds?' ''

Utah County voters approved FrontRunner funding in November - six years after Salt Lake, Weber and Davis counties opted to expand rail.

As it stands, more than 50 percent of the new sales tax, about $1.2 billion, will go to commuter rail.

That still will ease congestion, Midvale Mayor JoAnn Seghini noted, since the line will make stops at Point of the Mountain, Draper, Sandy and 5300 South.

During a brief public hearing, a Sandy resident railed against rail, arguing that transit funding only exasperates the "failed stewardship" of decades of Utah government leaders.

"Unless you want to kill the western valley, then freeways are the only answer," said longtime transit critic Michael Packard.

But he clearly was outnumbered. "People will very seldom tax themselves," Draper City Councilman Bill Colbert said. "They did this . . . for transit."

A number of stakeholders, including Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson and his wannabe successor, County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson, also pushed for the airport line.

"It was important for UTA to make a statement publicly that they are still capable of doing all four [TRAX] lines," Wilson said afterward. "That happened."

County Council colleague Jim Bradley, who called the plan the "perfect package," said the transit pledge can be "taken to the bank."

"Now we can do what we do best," UTA spokesman Justin Jones said, "build light rail on time and under budget."

The steel, he added, can now be bought in bulk, "like at Costco."