PLEASANT VIEW -- Payment of $2,600 to North Ogden for cleaning the canal running between 476 West and Hillsborough Drive is just the tip of the iceberg as far as keeping the canal clean is concerned, says Councilman Michael Humphreys.
Humphreys, a member of the North Ogden Canal Co. board, abstained from the council vote on the payment.
He said some areas have not been maintained for years and, with both North Ogden and Ogden dumping water into the aging canals, the water and the maintenance of the canals is a growing problem that lands in Pleasant View's backyard.
"These canals were built long before the subdivisions in our community. They were the lifeblood of agriculture in our community," Humphreys said.
"As we build, the use has changed, and (canals are now) part of the stormwater collection.
"Some of these have had this dual-purpose role for quite a while. They carry irrigation water for the agricultural community, and they carry stormwater as well.
"These are just dirt canals, and after a while, they tend to silt up and have to be cleaned. How is it done and how is it paid for?"
Humphreys said the first canals were built in pioneer times and pick up water near Rainbow Gardens in Ogden, then run through North Ogden and into Pleasant View.
"The problem is, through the years, it has been hard on Pleasant View," he said.
"The storm sewer gets silted up; there is debris from roads. We haven't cleaned it. The canal company does not have a lot of money. There are so many problems with trees on the upper end.
"I am asking cities to help out, as they are using it for stormwater also."
Humphreys said some areas of the canal can't be reached for cleaning, because property owners have erected fences along the canal and trees have grown.
He said property owners originally were responsible for maintaining the canal on their property, but it is no longer being maintained. Humphreys also said there are severe problems in Ogden, where tree growth has taken over.
Humphreys said the Legislature has now given canal companies more power to go in and clean canals.
Each city using the canal has to submit a plan to the canal company, he said, and they have to describe every pipe coming into the canal.
"The water coming in on us is not our water, particularly coming from Ogden city and North Ogden. We contribute some, but we take it out," Humphreys said.
"We dump our water into Farr West and have gotten some harsh remarks from Mayor (Jimmie) Papageorge, saying we are flooding them and not cleaning their canals. A lot of this water is coming out of subdivisions and canyons, which is natural drainage."
The canal company would love to have a road running all along the canal that could be used for maintenance and cleaning access, Humphreys said.
Mayor Doug Clifford said there should be some kind of agreement among Pleasant View, North Ogden and Ogden for cleaning and maintenance of the canals.
"Take the message back to your board that Pleasant View would like to participate with other cities for long-term plans for the canal."