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Front Page » June 5, 2008 » News » PRWID to Assist Mesozoic Gardens
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PRWID to Assist Mesozoic Gardens


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By CLAUDETTE LANGLEY
Sun Advocate reporter


While the structure for College of Eastern Utah's Mesozoic Gardens is at least a decade away, the landscaping that will surround the site may start appearing in the near future.

CEU Prehistoric Museum director Reese Barrick approached the members of the Price River Water Improvement District on Tuesday to ask for assistance to get water and sewer for the project.

The college has acquired property located north of the PRWID headquarters that is slated to someday be home to an expanded museum and Mesozoic gardens and zoo.

"We need water to keep the plants alive and for the whole landscape plan," said Barrick at the PRWID meeting on June 3.

He explained the long range plan is to build an approximately 100,000 square-foot building on the site and to have the area landscaped with plants that represent the era.

"The Mesozoic era was a time of tectonic, climatic and evolutionary activity. The continents gradually shifted from a state of connectedness into their present configuration; the drifting provided for speciation and other important evolutionary developments. The climate was exceptionally warm throughout the period, also playing an important role in the evolution and diversification of new animal species. By the end of the era, the basis of modern life was in place," according to http://en.wikipedia.org.

And this pivotal time in Earth's history is going to come alive on a hill overlooking Price, according to Barrick.

At the June 3 meeting, however, he was in the present time while speaking to board.

"We plan on doing all the labor ourselves," said the museum director.

His request was for the district to donate some engineering time and expertise to help the museum put the new lines in correctly.

Board members were amenable to supporting the effort and agreed to have a district engineer help with the design.

The Mesozoic Gardens are a joint project between the CEU's Prehistoric Museum and the Australian-based organization Global Studies Institute and is expected to cost approximately $6.5 million.

It will feature a variety of plants and animals including soft shell turtles, crocodiles and gar fish. The idea is not to feature the dinosaurs themselves but to create the world they lived in.

In other business the board once again tackled the issue of taking over the Pinnacle/John Paul Water Company. While no decision was reached, some movement was made bringing both sides a bit closer.

Members of the water company were present Tuesday and by discussion's end had a made a major concession to help the deal along.

The south Price subdivision served by the company has had an agreement in place that would allow some of the property owners to subdivide their parcels thereby increasing the number of hookups from 25 to 34.

"What if we get rid of the extra nine connections and put in another fire hydrant," Rick Shiner, a representative from Pinnacle asked.

That suggestion seemed to go over quite well with the board. However, it wasn't the clincher for the deal.

The water company members were asked to see if they could come up with any historical records or documents that might show that when the system was installed in 1978 that it met the district's requirements. Also it was requested that all residents served by the company sign a "Hold Harmless" agreement that exempts the district from any liability for glitches or failures in the system.

So, the members were off once again to try and fulfill the board's request. In the past three months they have provided the original letter requesting PRWID to take over the company, had fire flow tests done on all the hydrants, and submitted those results to Price Fire Chief Paul Bedont for review.

The intense scrutiny their company has undergone might have been too daunting for some, however, Tuesday night Shiner and another member of the water company made it clear they want out of the water business.

"We kept going to ensure no more growth," Shiner said."But so many regulations have changed for testing the water we can't keep up with them."

His comrade agreed it was time to move on.

"I've been reading meters for 20 years now and it's time to get rid of it," he said.

The item is already scheduled for PRWID's June 17 meeting.

The board meets the first and third Tuesday of the month in the district headquarters at 265 South Fairgrounds Road at 7 p.m.



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