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Sanpete commissioner tells county leaders to 'educate' those running for congress

Sanpete Messenger publisher

Sanpete County needs to be sure candidates for U.S. Congress get up to speed on the Goosebery Narrows Project, Sanpete County Commissioner Spencer Cox told a gathering of mayors and commissioners in early February.

At a meeting in Mt. Pleasant, Cox recounted a recent visit to Carbon County by one of the candidates (he declined to say,which) running in the newly configured Second Congressional District.

According to Cox, the candidate got an earful about how harmful the Narrows Reservoir would be.

Following that meeting, Cox convinced the candidate to tour the Narrows Dam site near the top of Fairview Canyon on State Route 31 with him and Commissioner Claudia Jarrett.

The candidate's reaction was, "This is it? This is what they were talking about?, suggesting the candidate could see the project was fairly innocuous.

Sanpete leaders need to "preach the gospel" about the Narrows, Cox said. He added that leaders also need to focus on defeating Democrat Scott Matheson, who is running for the new Fourth District, which now includes southern Sanpete County.

Matheson is the only member of the Utah congressional delegation who opposes the Narrows, Cox noted. According to Cox, Matheson has blocked progress on the Narrows in the past. Long-time supporters of the Narrows regard him as "public enemy number one," Cox said.

Meanwhile, Wade Garrett, a staffmembet in Rep. Jason Chaffetz'. office, reported that the Narrows "seems to be on course." An environmental impact statement was completed a couple of years ago. Currently, staff in the Bureau of Reclamation Office in, Provo are evaluating the EIS, and working toward a go/no go decision on the dam and reservoir, which would capture water that falls on the eastern slope of the Wasatch Plateau, store it, and send it through a transmountain tunnel to northern Sanpete county.

Garrett said federal officials had expressed concern about whether federal funds would be available for the project. But Sanpete County officials told the feds, "'Give us a record of decision, and we'll worry about funding later.""That seemed to, loosen things up a bit," Garrett said.

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