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Front Page » November 21, 2002 » Local News » PRWID Panel Approves Utility Relocation Project
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PRWID Panel Approves Utility Relocation Project

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Staff reporter

The Price River Improvement District board decided Tuesday to notify the contractor to begin purchasing materials and working on the section of a utility relocation project planned in conjunction with the Utah Department of Transportation's Price-Wellington road improvements.

"I had meetings yesterday with UDOT (Monday) and this morning I was meeting with them in Richfield and they want us to go ahead with our project," Phil Palmer, PRWID's district manager told the board. "The meeting was heated at times, but that is where they want us to head."

The project has been in the planning stages for some time.

The water district needs to move some of their lines due to the fact the state is going to expand and revamp the section of U.S. Highway 6 between Price and Wellington starting next year. The particular portion of road carries more traffic per day than almost any other section of U.S. 6 in the state.

But the problem with PRWID starting the project was discussed at the last board meeting on Nov. 5, when it was brought up that the state had not secured all the easements for the project and that the final approval had not been given to start.

Without the approval from UDOT, the agency that will reimburse PRWID for all the expenses of moving the lines, the local water agency could have been left on a limb for the costs incurred if they started the job prematurely.

"The state office needs to approve an addendum to the project, but that won't be done until after the first of the year," Palmer told the board at the last meeting. "But UDOT said they are not worried about this and want our contractor to start right away. Our contractor feels that if he can get started he can have the work done in a month."

However, without complete easements on the whole project and some legalities not completely settled, some of the board members were concerned about the risk that the water district is facing.

"I realize that there is some risk, but the fact is that it is our part of the project and we are responsible for it," said Palmer. "But between Community Impact Board funds and UDOT's promises to pay for the project it is all being funded."

The part of the project that will be initially started is the section between 2000 North and the east Price interchange.

Other sections of the project will begin as the easements are secured.

The easements are being worked on by UDOT. About 15 individuals are still being dealt with on easements for the entire project's length.

"UDOT is working on easements and I will be to so we can get them secured and move ahead," said Palmer. "We just want to expedite the whole project."

In an unrelated business matter, the PRWID board discussed the subject of the Hill subdivision.

While no documentation has arrived from the developers engineer on the proposed changes to the water system that PRWID is asking for, Palmer said he has talked with him and it sounds as if things on the pump station can be worked out.

"He has no problem with moving the pump station close to the tee as we requested, based on our the conversations I have had with him," indicated Palme. "But he still wants a five horse power pump for standard flow. He said they will recommend two 20 horse pumps for fire flow."

The concern about the project has been the pressure that will be available to the private residences that will be built in the area.

At the last PRWID board meeting, the discussion was partially about how many actual residences would be built in the subdivision.

Developer Richard Lee felt that the full 26 hookups requested would never be used because the parcels had become large enough that that many homes would not be built.

But the PRWID board members are still worried about the projected water pressure in the area.

Board member Steve Rigby was concerned about not only the present, but the future.

"Right now with the homes that are there, they will have 40 pounds of pressure," pointed out Rigby. "That will diminish with more homes as they are added. We are going to end up with problems in the future."

Board chair Steve Denison suggested that future property owners should be warned regarding what the residents may face in terms of the situation.

But Palmer indicated that the water improvement district could live with the situation and would work with the engineer and developer on getting eveything put together.

"I would recommend more pressure at the top, but we can live with this plan," commented Palmre

No action was taken in connection with the subdivision because the documentation has not arrived at PRWID as to what the engineer suggests should be done in the matter.

During the public board meeting, the department heads from the PRWID plant, waste water treatment facilities and system maintenance presented preliminary 2003 budgets to the board for inspection.

One of the biggest increases included in any of the budgets had to do with the renovation of the water storage tank on Four Mile Hill.

According to the budget submitted to the board, it will cost more than $200,000 to refurbish the storage tank.

"The tank is in need of corrosion control," said Clay Wright. "Most of the corrosion is in the top 20 feet of the tank, but the whole thing needs work. If it isn't done, the roof will be gone in five years."

Palmer explained to the PRWID board that, even though the tank is newer than the one in Helper, the water storage facility needs to be sandblasted, primered and repainted.

The water storage tank at Four Mile Hill was built in 1986, while the one in Helper was constructed in 1978.

"The situation is that, today, the same kinds of paint can't be used to protect the tank that was used on the Helper tank," said Wright. "They can no longer use lead based paint, and the new coatings are very expensive."

The PRWID board accepted the budget proposals and capital expenditure requests. The members will start to work with the figures and trim the water improvement district expenses as the new year approaches.

In conclusion, the board agreed to two purchases. One is for a security gate at the water plant for $3150. Castle Country Fencing was the low bidder.

"This security stuff is going to be costing more and more money," said Palmer. "In the next year or so I expect we will see mandates come down from the federal government on what we need for more security at all water treatment facilities."

The other decision was to purchase a new truck for the district for $24,307.95 from the state contract. The board had asked Jeff Richins, assistant district manager to check on if a lease situation might be a better option.

"A lease would save us money initially, but not in the long run," he told the board. "We would just have many payments and the vehicles would become ours in the long run anyway."

Rigby commented that he was all for having new vehicles as long as one was removed from the fleet when they were replaced.

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