The Emery County Water Conservancy District held a special meeting on Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. In attendance were: Lee McElprang, Jay Mark Humphrey, Jack Curtis, Craig Johansen, Tracy Behling, Carl Stock, Morris Sorenson and Clyde Conover.
The first item on the agenda was the PacifiCorp discussion. Previously, PacifiCorp had shown an interest in storing non-project water in Joe's Valley. But just before the meeting, they had sent a letter stating that this was no longer the case. The board decided that they needed to discuss the issue anyway, in case of future interests. Stock shared the following information with the Board: The 1911 Warren Act provides for the storage of non-project water in project facilities, but only provides this for agricultural water, not for municipal and industrial water. Some of Emery County's water is municipal and industrial. In order to get around the Act, the district would have to lease non-project water, making it then project water. The district would then have to classify the water as "Additional Project Supply." This would be OK as long as the total amount of water does not exceed what the original project calls for. The district would then offer the water to interested parties, such as PacifiCorp. The district would then have other issues to deal with like stockholders and water shares. However, there would be no charge to the district to store the water this way, since it would be project water, whereas the Warren Act requires a storage charge, which is automatically put back into the general reclamation fund. So there is no financial benefit for the district to go with the Warren Act as it stands.
There have been three other instances in Utah where this has occurred; Provo River, Weber River and the Central Utah Project. In each of these cases, new legislation was created providing a way to store water for municipal and industrial purposes.
The question was then placed before the board whether or not they wanted to begin legislation for this process for future use. It was suggested that Stock obtain copies of the legislation in each of the other cases for the board to review. The board agreed that this could be a useful asset in the future, if they could work the legislation so that revenues could be turned back to the district rather than the reclamation fund. Conover then made a motion to pursue legislation to store non-project water in project facilities. Curtis seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. Johansen brought up some possible problems with the current contracts and maybe some problems with individuals trying to store water. It was then discussed that maybe the legislation could be a protection from "blanket" legislations such as the Warren Act, and be customized for the Emery County area only.
The next item on the agenda was the canal lining project. The bids for materials and labor were in. The bid for labor was awarded to Sinbad Construction at an estimated $29,283. The bid for materials was awarded to Lange Containment Systems for an estimated $42,055.90. The material chosen to line the canal is a hypalon liner. It is a reinforced rubber fabric, which has the ability to have a hole punched in it, but it will not tear. The other choice was pond guard, which is stretchy, but rips easily. The materials should be in by March 11 and the project should be completed by April 1. Johansen notified the board that they will be extending the project by 300 feet, for a total of 1,300 feet. The old asphalt liner has cracked and is letting the water seep through. Sorenson made a motion to ratify both contracts. It was seconded by Behling and passed unanimously.
The last item on the agenda was a review of the board member applications. The board receives the applications and then recommends those who they feel are best qualified for the position to the county commissioners. The county commission then fills the vacant positions, currently there are three open seats on the board.
The applicants are as follows: Duane K. Jensen of Cleveland, who is currently on the board; Earl Fillmore of Huntington; Kevin P. Peacock of Orangeville; Craig E. Johansen of Castle Dale, who is also currently on the board; J. J. Grant of Orangeville; and Kent Petersen of Ferron.
Humphrey then gave a report of the snow totals, they ranged from mid 60's to mid 70's around the county.
Curtis then motioned to adjourn the meeting. Johansen seconded. The meeting was then adjourned. The next regular Water Conservancy District meeting will be held April 2 at 7 p.m.