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PRWID Discusses Sewer System Improvement Priority List

Staff reporter

Snow piled along the road above Scofield Reservoir may look like a lot to some people but the National Resource Conservation Service Snotel report says that the Mammoth-Cottonwood snow water equivalent is only 75 percent of normal. PRWID board members reviewed the information on Tuesday during a regular meeting. District manager Phil Palmer said that it will be easier to tell what the water situation for this summer will be like in a couple of months. At the end of the irrigation season last fall only about 12,000 acre feet of usable water remained in the reservoir, so replenishment by this winters precipitation is critical.

The agenda of the Price River Water Improvement District was chock full of items at it's regular meeting on Tuesday evening, many of which will affect citizens and future citizens of the district in the near and distant future.

At the last meeting the board asked the staff to provide some cost analysis on proposed projects that were laid out at that session so that the board could do some prioritization this week.

The details came out on Tuesday evening as the board reviewed each of the projects and the costs involved.

"These are the cost estimates on the projects we laid out for you last time," assistant district manager Jeff Richens told the board. "These are the ones we feel we need to do for various reasons."

As Richens laid out the information, he explained that many of the projects need to be done because of present inadequate connections to the districts sewer system, failed septic systems, future development trends and just some areas that are close to district lines that now need to be connected up with PRWID's system.

The projects include three in Spring Glen, two in Carbonville, one south of Price, one in the "Bawdenville" area east of Price and one in Wellington.

The total cost for the projects is around $700,000 and will affect 60 residents and businesses.

During the discussion, however, some questions arose about how it was determined that these should be the projects done rather than others that might be out there.

"I just wonder how you (the staff) determine which projects need to be done," asked board member Steven Rigby. "For instance, I know you have mentioned that in some of these areas there are failed septic tank systems. But I know a number of people who have had those in other areas of the county and no projects are being done there to hook them up to the sewer system."

Phil Palmer, district manager, explained that they look at circumstances and of course the proximity to the lines they currently have in the area to determine which systems they can hook onto with projects. Often he hears about problems from residents or others who know of them.

"I am sure there are problems we have not heard about, but we can only deal with those we do," he said. "I know of some problems in some areas of the county that could use the sewer system, but to just get the line out to those areas would cost $700,000. We try to prioritize these as we go along looking for the ones that are not only needed but also cost effective."

Richens pointed out that some of these projects have been in the works for years and that some of them are needed not only to hook up the few current residents in the area, but to also put in lines where future development is either imminent or in the plans by developers and others.

"That is one of the things I worry about," said Rigby. "I am concerned about us putting in these lines just so developers can hook on later."

He pointed out one of the projects where there is a group of homes existing without sewer accessibility and there are also several empty lots because property owners cannot build on them for that very reason.

"We put the line in and then they can build," he said. "That is what I am concerned about. They don't pay for the development."

Richens pointed out that anyone who hooks up pays the impact fees the district charges, which covers part of the cost.

"I think Steven has a valid point though," said Keith Cox, vice chair of the board, who is presently acting as the chairman. "What if someone else comes in with a problem and asks that we take care of it? Do we displace some of these projects or put it on a list or what?"

Palmer explained that they would have to look at other situations if people came in and things could change.

The board then asked that Richens describe to them the various projects and how many homes would be affected by each. He went through the list with the costs and showed the board the following facts.

He also listed which would be affected by impact fees, because some are not because they currently are hooked up but have inadequate systems and those need replacement. All costs were estimates only.

The Spring Glen projects included one on 4420 North which will affect five homes at the cost of $34,300. This one would have no impact fees because it is an old system replacement. Another on 4340 North would cost $27,600 and would affect three homes with two paying impact fees.

The third Spring Glen project is a line in a wash which would connect up three homes for $56, 500 and would include three impact fees. This particular project would also extend the line for some probable development in the area.

In Carbonville, one of the two projects is the most expensive of those listed. It is a project near DBT that will require a bore under the railroad tracks as well as one under a canal. The project would hook up between 15-17 homes and businesses and would cost around $153,000. All those properties involved would be paying impact fees.

The other project in Carbonville is near Gardner Road and it involves seven homes at an estimated cost of $63,500. All seven would be charged impact fees.

The one project south of Price where a lift station is now in place will solve an on-going odor problem that area residents have been dealing with for years. The new line will allow sewage to drain without having to be lifted thereby eliminating the problem. The cost of that project is estimated at $117,900.

A project just east of the Price city limits is the "Bawdenville" project which would affect eight homes at the estimated cost of $110,700. All eight would be paying impact fees.

The final project is one in an area near Wellington which was estimated with two costs and would affect 12 homes.

"This is in an area that the "Outsider Water Company" serves," said Richens. "One cost is if we run the line and attach it to the present Wellington sewer line. That line is the property of Wellington so they would have to give permission and the residents would have to pay not only an impact fee to hook up but also a wheelage fee for Wellington to handle the sewage through their lines. If we can do it this way it will cost around $110,700. The other option is to run our line through a field there and connect it to our own existing line and the cost for that would be $141,900."

After Richens was done with his presentation the board considered whether they really wanted to set the priorities on the list at that time. Some felt that it would be best to hear from residents at the public hearing slated for Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. at the PRWID office. That was the final decision.

"I believe with approval we can do all these projects with the money that will be available," stated Palmer. "Some will cost a little more, some less, depending on what we run into. Certainly, once we have been able to bid it out, we will have a better picture."

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