Price River Water Improvement District is currently in the processing of planning a stock watering project for parts of the county. But the endeavor will require adjustments because of concerns about a possible conflict of interest at the agency.
"I had a discussion with Nick Sampinos (the attorney for PRWID) and I have received a letter from him saying that he feels he has a conflict of interest in dealing with this project and that we will need to secure other counsel in handling negotiations on it," said Phil Palmer, water improvement district manager, at a board meeting last Tuesday. "Since the project is being proposed by the Carbon Canal Company and he is one of the board members, he feels that is the best thing to do."
The project, which is being planned by Sunrise Engineering, will be installed so stockmen with Carbon Canal shares can have culinary water during the winter for cattle.
In the past, the canal company released water a few times during the winter to serve to the customers. However, the releases create salinity problems in the Price River when the carrier water re-enters the stream flow.
"This will all be done with salinity project money that was granted to the company because the Carbon area has the highest salt loading numbers in the basin," explained Palmer.
The project will consist of running new culinary lines to a number of areas that don't presently have them, with the largest sections coming in the Miller Creek area. The project includes between seven and eight miles of new pipeline.
As for water to supply the system, the water rights for it must also be granted to PRWID before they can take the water to supply the customers.. Once those culinary rights are granted they cannot be returned to the canal.
"I think it is going to be a good project for both the canal company and for us," stated Palmer. "We figure we will have to supply about a half a million gallons of water per month. Our present water plant will have no trouble producing that much more water."
Board member Tom Matthews suggested that the way he sees it the canal company will get the consumptive right and the carrier water right will then go away.
"The fact is that the state water engineer will have to rule on what the exact water right in this situation will be," stated assistant district manager Jeff Richens.
Then the board got back to the legal counsel situation. They had some discussion on the issue wondering who could fill Sampinos' shoes for the projects legal procedures. George Harmond, about the only other attorney in the area that handles these kinds of projects is the counsel for the Carbon Canal and will be working on their side of the negotiations. But Palmer had another suggestion.
"The staff and myself think we might be able to get the attorney (Jody Williams) that works on our water rights issues to do this work," said Palmer. "Nick also said he thought she might do it. I have not talked with her yet, but I can if you want me to." The board wondered about William's rates to do the work, but they also realized there was little choice in the matter at this point, so they approved Palmer contacting her.
The board also ratified the purchase of a new pick up for the maintenance department for $24861.18 from Community Ford. This approval came after some debate about buying a truck from the state bid contract instead. The truck they considered buying from Butterfield Ford of Sandy on that bid was listed at $669.18 less than the one they finally decided on, but the board stated that they felt purchasing equipment and materials locally took precedent over the small savings that could be incurred..