Minutes of The Special Price City Council Meeting
City Hall: Price, Utah
January 18, 2000, 4:00 p.m.
Mayor Lou Colosimo
Councilmembers: Vernon W. Jones, Community Administrator
Roy A. Nikas Joanne Lessar, City Recorder
Betty P. Wheeler Pat Larsen, Finance Director
Joe L. Piccolo Gary Sonntag, PWD/City Engineer
Stephen L. Denison
Glen Wells Dale Mathis Verdis Barker
1. RAY DOWNARD - Sewer Back-Up - Referred To City Attorney
The Council discussed the sewer back-up claim submitted by Ray Downard and rejected by the City’s insurance company. The claim is for $11,340, including labor of $6,900. Councilmember Tatton stated that he has a conflict as he handles the insurance. The insurance company is saying that the City has a responsibility to maintain the sewers. The City did nothing negligent to cause the back-up, therefore, they feel the City is not responsible. Councilmember Piccolo feels that Price City has an obligation and responsibility to deliver wastewater to the treatment plant facilities. The main line south of Mr. Downard’s property became clogged causing the back-up into Mr. Downard’s house. He feels the operation and maintenance of the line was negligently handled. He disagrees with the insurance company’s decision. If the line had been cleaned and maintained properly, the restriction may not have been there. That leaves a doubt in his mind if the City has done their job. He believes the claim should be paid on what Mr. Downard has paid. If he has paid for labor and not charged for his own time, he feels the City is responsible for the claim. Councilmember Dension stated that he has the same questions as Councilmember Piccolo. What should the City be responsible for? There was not a problem on his lateral and did not appear until it got into the City’s main line. He would hate to see this whole amount paid based upon the dollar amounts used for labor. If he had hired a professional, the job could have gotten done quicker and at less cost. Councilmember Nikas stated that Sam White, Sewer Department Supervisor, has indicated that he feels there was no negligence on the City as it was not a routine trouble spot. It is hard to backtrack on this unless there is other evidence. Mr. Downard never did say what the City did to cause the sewer back-up. It could have been caused by Mr. Downard himself. However, no one will ever know the cause. He would have no problem asking the insurance company to review the case again, based on some extenuating circumstances. It was recommended that this be reviewed by Mr. Sampinos for his recommendation.
2. PRICE/WELLINGTON CANAL - Piping Of Irrigation Water
Councilmember Nikas disclosed that he has a house that is located six houses down from the canal. He is below the canal and at the present does not get any water. He also has a minority interest in a piece of property where the canal goes through. Councilmember Nikas highlighted a couple of items that he has significant concern. As this is a whole valley project, there are approximately 9,000 acre feet of water that can be saved through conservation of piping. Nine thousand acre feet of water is equivalent to the controversy involved with the Gooseberry project and trying to save the water for this valley. If Price City supports a significant conservation project, we will have a better chance to receive funding from the Community Impact Board and other water resource type boards for other water projects. It would cost Price City $25,000 per year to purchase the 3,100 acre feet of water that we would save. There are issues involving the liability if we were to lose part of the canal through floods, seepage, etc. He has concern about the bridges that need to be replaced in the future, which will be of significant cost. The costs to purchase the piping material at the present are significantly in the best interest of Price verses a later time, as there has been a 2% increase per month in the cost of pipe. In addition, the $6½ million grant that has been proposed from the government to get rid of the salt, along with a ½% interest for 30 years for the balance. He does not see the government giving out these kinds of salinity grants at this proportion in the future. Councilmember Nikas feels piping the canal water is a very deserving project. He presented a sketch and discussed Price City’s benefits from a secondary system within the City limits.
Councilmember Piccolo felt that there are still some unanswered questions. What is it going to cost and how is the City going to pay for it. He would like to see this happen but he doesn’t want to do it without having some answers to those questions. Councilmember Nikas stated that the feasibility study compiled by the engineer hired by the Control Board indicated that it will cost $10.5 million - $6.5 million from the grant and up to $3.9 million at a 1/2% interest paid back over the next 30 years. Nobody is going to know exactly what this will cost until you get into the bid process. It may be more but it could be less. Councilmember Nikas stated that according to Craig Johansen, the bureau wants to see the salinity project go. It is very important to them or they wouldn’t have put up the $6 ½ million and worked with this group over the time frame that they have.
Councilmember Tatton asked what would happen if the group further north in Carbonville didn’t participate? Councilmember Nikas stated that he understands the line would still be piped but that they would not get the laterals that are figured into the loan amount and that money could be reused elsewhere, either in increased costs or running other laterals. Councilmember Tatton asked if these people don’t participate and pay their assessment, is the balance spread among those entities who do participate? Councilmember Nikas stated that the amount will come off the loan amount of $3.9 million because all they will be doing is the piping. If there is extra money, it can either be distributed to more laterals or just not be borrowed. There is enough money from the borrowed amount to run laterals upstream, such as Pioneer #1. If three out of five support the project, the project will still be piped. Those that choose not to participate will not have their laterals installed. They will basically have gates and an open irrigation.
Councilmember Piccolo discussed flood control. Dale Mathis stated that the canal will be left in place. It will be up to the City and County to maintain it for flood control. Once the water is piped, the canal companies will abandon the canal as they will not have the funds to maintain it once they begin paying their loan. Councilmember Nikas stated that he understands the County is willing to look at some options as to what can be done upstream to control flood water.
Councilmember Piccolo stated that he understands the project but is concerned over the cost and justification to the citizens of Price. Hopefully the citizens will understand that this is a long term benefit. If it turns into a much larger project, the City will have trouble paying for it. Pat Larsen stated that currently the City is $6 million in debt. It can go up to $22 million without creating a problem. Our waterline transmission project will be $12 ½ million. Councilmember Dension indicated he would be more in favor of this project if the City could acquire another $1 million at a ½ percent interest to take care of flood control. Gary Sonntag felt the project is a good idea. Councilmember Wheeler stated that she is concerned over the cost and the feelings of the community. Councilmember Piccolo stated that the increase to water share users would be $3 more a year per share of water.
MOTION. Councilmember Nikas moved that Price City support the Price/Wellington Control Board project and that direction be given to Price City’s representative to vote Price City’s applicable shares in the various water companies accordingly. Motion seconded by Councilmember Piccolo. The motion carried per the following vote.
Councilmember Nikas - “aye”
Councilmember Wheeler - “naye”
Councilmember Piccolo - “aye”
Councilmember Denison ‘ “aye”
Councilmember Tatton - “naye”
Meeting adjourned at 5:22 p.m.