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Service District Projects Boost the County Economy

By COREY BLUEMEL
Staff Writer

Workers from Nielson Construction do the asphalt work along streets in Huntington.

The Castle Valley Special Service District is involved in one of the busiest construction seasons in its history. There are nine different projects with a total construction cost of $3,930,000, which are being paid for by the service district. In addition to these projects the district is working with Energy West and Genwal Coal mines for the construction of a new surface water treatment plant for Huntington, Cleveland and Elmo. This project is being funded by the coal mines and will cost about $1,300,000.

These projects include a wide variety of construction work including, storm water drains, curb and gutter, sewer and water line extensions, new water treatment plant, asphalt street paving, improvements to the screens and pumps on the secondary irrigation system and chip-sealing of existing roads.

Most of the money being utilized on these projects comes from General Obligation Bonds, which are sold by the district and repaid with property taxes. Of the total funding, $636,500 is a direct grant received from the Community Impact Board. This grant money has no strings attached and repayment is not required.

The benefits to the communities and individual taxpayers from the special service district projects are numerous and varied. Some of the benefits are easy to see and recognize, others are a little more difficult to appreciate. Obvious benefits include having a water connection or sewer connection where one didn't previously exist, having new fire hydrants and better fire protection, having curb and gutter installed in front of your home and yard, having a paved asphalt road (instead of mud and weeds) in front of your home, having a drain pipe to remove storm water and subsurface water, and extending the life of the asphalt paving by chip sealing the existing asphalt.

Some of the benefits are more subtle and harder to see, but still exist. They are hard to place an exact dollar value on, but still greatly improve the community. They include such things as beautification and cleaning up of the cities, getting rid of weeds and garbage, getting rid of wet areas, getting rid of mosquitoes, grasshoppers, mice, etc., providing flood protection, improving the resale value of the homeowners property, and having good safe drinking water.

One of the indirect benefits derived from these projects is the numerous jobs created for the local residents. This year the local contractors and engineers who have had projects with the special service district include Johansen and Tuttle Engineering, Nielson Construction Company, Sinbad Construction Company, Ernest Jensen Construction, Mike Riley Construction, and B. Hansen Construction. Each of these companies have hired local people and given the jobs. These employees receive their salaries indirectly from the service district projects. Each of these employees purchase their groceries, gasoline, hardware, appliances and etc. from the local stores so that the economy of the whole area is benefited by the "trickle down" effect of the service district projects. This brings a substantial boost to the employment and general economy of the area. During the height of the construction season there were approximately 60 construction workers and inspectors working on service district projects. Most of these were local people employed by the local contractors.

The benefits from these projects are many and varied, but the improvement to the economy and employment are very important, especially if you are one of those who have a job because of the project. Many supplies and products are purchased locally to construct the projects, which also boost the economy.





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