District considers downsizing scope of Nine Mile Road
The Carbon County Recreation and Transportation Special Service District met Monday and the board discussed the Nine Mile Road project.
Board member Pace Hansen pointed out at the March 6 meeting that he recently had informal talks with Bill Barrett Corporation representatives and county staff.
The conversations indicated that a fully widened, paved road may not be necessary.
The board member said it is his understanding that the gas industry needs a dry, hard packed, graveled road in the canyon.
Following Hansen's comments, the discussion centered on the merits of a cheaper road that could be completed in less time.
Carbon Commissioner Mike Milovich explained that the county is limited by the existing right of way, and must stay within the present disturbed area.
Milovich also said that a $40 to $50 million price tag for fully paving the road is beyond what the county should do.
"We will never get our investment back with pavement," noted the commissioner.
Milovich suggested that the county consider making a graveled road through the canyon and hiring a contractor to maintain it if necessary.
Commissioner Bill Krompel gave a blackboard presentation at the meeting of recent developments regarding the road project.
Carbon government's representative on the board explained that the county had met Congressman Jim Matheson's Feb. 17 deadline for applying for federal funds to help with the project.
The Nine Mile Road has also been moved to the top of the governor's priority list of related projects.
Krompel said the state transportation department has approved providing 20,000 tons of rotomill for the project.
Bill Barrett Corporation has also agreed to cover the costs of completing a $35,000 engineering study on the Nine Mile project approved by the county.
The engineers are doing a comprehensive field survey of the canyon road, pointed out Krompel.
The engineers will analyze the entire Nine Mile Road, including safety concerns and testing the surface. He said that the study should take about 1 week in the field, 2 weeks analyzing the data, and another week to draft and file the report.
He said that the engineer report will be only a base line for starting the project, and the board can decide after reading it what type of road the want to make. The first item of business was a request by John Anselmo and Jay Noyes for help with the restoration of the Wellington Little League baseball field. Anselmo presented the board with a written proposal, photographs, and an itemized list of repairs needed and structures needing replacement.
After some discussion, board members referred the two men back to Wellington City. They suggested other ways the repairs on the field might be funded, and explained that by law they could appropriate money to Wellington City, but not to the Western Boys Baseball Association the two men were representing.
Later in the meeting, the board approved a measure to draft a clear set of guidelines for those petitioning for funds. Board members are aware that there is some confusion as to what can and cannot be funded by the Special Service District. A set of guidelines will be drafted and presented to petitioners in the future, and the guidelines will allow the service district administrator to better screen applicants.
The next item on the agenda was a request by Jack Allred for the district to fund a painted and rubber surface on the Spring Glen Park basketball court. The board approved painting lines on the cement surface, but tabled action on the rubber coating pending further study and guarantees from the company selling the product.
Gene Armstrong, representing Helper city, then presented a proposal for the board to give Helper $200,000 to be used as supplemental funds for the Helper swimming pool project. Armstrong explained that in the 18 months since the grant and loans were applied for through the Community Impact Board, the cost of materials alone has gone up 15%. He said that Helper is afraid that the pool project will need to be scaled back and some items deleted if more money is not found.
The board discussed the project at length, and finally voted to grant the $200,000 contingent upon an item-by-item accounting from the city as to how the funds are to be spent. None of the money will be released until it is needed and until Helper receives approval from the board to spend it. The supplemental funding brings the cost of the project to about $1,300,000. Helper hopes to have the new swimming pool open by the fourth of July.
The board briefly discussed the county gun range project, and a request for additional funding, but tabled the matter for a future meeting
The next agenda item was a request by Carbon County for the district to pay local matching funds for Carbonville road improvements. The county has received a $2,000,000 dollar grant to improve about 3.4 miles of the Carbonville road from the interstate near the golf course to about Groggs. The county is required to match about 7% of that funding, or about $140,000. The board unanimously approved the funding.
County Commissioner Bill Krompel explained that the Carbonville road project is being done in two phases because of the availability of funding by the highway department. He said that the second half of the road, from Groggs to first north in Price, will be completed in 2007.
In other matters, the board briefly discussed the ATV trail system through Scofield town, and a management plan for district owned property in the Scofield area.
Krompel then told the board that government grants totaling 3.1 million dollars have recently been approved to build a regional government office complex on the old Carbonville road at the site of the old county road complex. He said that the building will house the office of Oil, Gas, and Mining, the Division of Water Rights, State Forestry and Fire Suppression offices, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.