The first phase of the planned multiple-use irrigation/urban fishery project at the County Fairgrounds is shaping up as a race against time.
County engineer Curtis Page told the Recreation/Transportation Special Service District board Monday that the initial excavation of an irrigation settling basin will have to be done before agricultural demand for water from the Price Canal begins. That means he'll have to set a deadline for bids to be submitted by next Wednesday, with work to begin soon after that.
It also means a special session of the board next Monday to grant tentative approval to funding the project. Final approval will come when the bids are in and the board has an exact number to deal with.
The small settling pond - less than an acre of surface area - will divert water from the canal and impound it just long enough to allow the silt to settle. The bigger fishing pond will cover 2.5 surface acres and be eight to 12 feet in depth.
The benefit to canal users is that the cleaner water will pose fewer problems with sprinklers clogging. The fairgrounds will also find big savings when a source of secondary water becomes available from the project. County Commissioner Mike Milovich, also a member of the RTSSD board, said that the county would be looking at a watering expense of between $110,000 and $160,000 if it had to use treated water.
Page estimated that in all, the winner of the bid will have to dig and move some 132,000 cubic yards of earth. RB&G Engineering has prepared a set of specifications and soil characteristics for the bids.