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Helper's river restoration plan gets another boost

The project would alter the course and slope of the river to create more recreational and environmental benefits.

Sun Advocate associate editor

The Utah Division of Water Quality has awarded Helper City $35,000 to fund the second phase of studies toward revitalizing the Price River corridor through Helper City.

Just one month ago, the city got a $36,000 grant from the county's Recreation/Transportation Special Service District to help finance Phase One. The city is contributing $12,000 of its own funds to complete the financing of the first phase of engineering and evaluation.

"The grant funding the second phase of the project is focused on the improvement of water quality in the Price River and will tie directly to Helper City's larger comprehensive infrastructure replacement project funded with support from the CIB," said Mayor Dean Armstrong. The city is looking at a $7 million grant and $12 million loan from the Community Impact board for those infrastructure improvements.

The overall aim of the river project is to transform the Price River through town into a centerpiece for the community. Instead of having a straight channel, engineers would design a few meanders and other features that would create both rapids for kayakers as well as still water for fishing and flood and pollution control.

The city has been working with RiverRestoration, a specialty engineering firm based in Colorado.

In Phase II the RiverRestoration Team will determine the feasible alternatives for the project. These include evaluating the hydraulics for white water, fishing and bank opportunities. Phase II will include a final presentation of alternatives with cost opinions.

It will then be up to Helper City to select a preferred alternative for final design and permitting.

The engineers will assist in finding additional outside funding.

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