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County Secures CIB Funding for Three Local Projects

Staff reporter

Sheriff James Cordova checks out the county law enforcement department's Hazmat trailer. The county will purchase a Hazmat truck with a $60,000 CIB grant and $120,000 set aside by commissioners for the acquisition.

Carbon County received a substantial amount of money from the Utah Community Impact Board for three different proposals last week.

The first CIB grant of $596,000 was awarded to Carbon County to conduct a study of the aquifer discovered at Skyline a year and a half ago when the company was mining coal under Electric Lake.

During the past year, considerable controversy has resulted from the water that temporarily filled up one section of the coal mine.

Geologists from the mine and from other agencies have indicated there is probably a large unknown aquifer in the area that could contain millions of gallons of ancient water, not seen on the surface in thousands of years.

While the source is finite, the water could help with a number of problems in drought years.

Since the water poured into the underground coal mining operation, Skyline has been pumping the fluid in Clear Creek, where it has been flowing into Scofield Reservoir.

At one point, the mine was pumping 9,000 gallons per minute which, according to some sources, has amounted to nearly one-third of the water in the reservoir.

Meanwhile, the storage level at Electric Lake has been steadily dropping. The situation has led some sources to maintain that the water seeping into Skyline mine is coming from the lake.

Testing for trace minerals involving radioactive materials has been completed and it appears the water is not from Electric Lake.

But the grant money allocated by the CIB for the study will help to determine the source along with some other questions local water officials have.

In addition, the county received two CIB grants for partial payment on a Hazmat truck and to subsidize the construction of an indoor shooting range in the Carbon area.

The Hazmat truck will be purchased with a $60,000 grant from the CIB and $120,000 set aside by county commissioners for the acquisition.

"One of the reasons for this money becoming available is that the state seems to be getting largely out of the Hazmat business," explained Dennis Dooley, civil defense director for the county.

"The highway patrol seems to be putting the guys who have handled this on other duty and the state is sending a lot of it's equipment to various regions that have been created in the state for Hazmat work. One of those regions will be the Carbon-Emery region," added the civil defense director.

Dooley indicated that the state will be sending down more than $350,000 in emergency equipment to the region. Some of the equipment will go to Castle Dale and some to Green River, where Interstate 70 has the potential for hazardous spills.

But it appears most of the equipment will be based in Carbon County.

The county already has the Hazmat trailer that the Carbon sheriff's department bought last year. The truck will be set up to utilize the trailer along with the equipment that will be on board the emergency vehicle.

The Utah Community Impact Board approved a $750,000 grant for the local shooting range and agreed to loan the county $750,000 at 2.5 percent interest to build the facility.

The facility is visualized having 12 firing lanes with 25 yard ranges. The building will have a classroom for hunter safety training and will also be set up so it can be used for tactical police training.

No decision has been made yet as to where the facility will be located and the design and construction phases have not even been discussed yet. It appears the county commission will be making those decisions in the near future.

In another development, Dooley says the county will be applying for money to set up Emergency Response Teams.

"The county is looking toward getting some equipment and training for the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) that are going to be organized in the community," he says. "Because of the political environment we are in right now a lot of money will be coming down the pike to set up these teams."

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