Resident unhappy that the water supply for pond on his property is gone

Apr 29 2013 - 2:49pm

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PLEASANT VIEW -- An agreement with the city was made more than 10 years ago to route water into a pond on the property of Robert Watson at 2364 N. 600 West, and Watson is now unhappy that the city has cut off the water to the pond.

He said the $12,000 the city has offered him will not begin to replace the pond, which the Watsons have enjoyed for years with the city's blessing.

"This goes back to negotiations for a right of way purchase on 600 West," City Administrator Melinda Brimhall said. "The council has determined it is in the best interest of the city to eliminate the bypass there. They have been using storm water for a stream/pond area."

Brimhall said the pipe running from the pond and stream goes back into the city storm water system and the agreement for this was made more than 10 years ago.

"It was a gentlemen's agreement between the pubic works director and property owner. It was never brought to the council," Brimhall said. "There are problems with the pipes plugging up with sediment and the city having to go over there and clean up the pipes."

Brimhall said, "Storm water belongs to the state of Utah, I believe, because it gets discharged to streams and lakes. We don't have water rights -- we are just given the responsibility of carrying that water to the waters of the state."

There is also a concern about contamination of water because of fish or waterfowl.

"Mr. Watson has had geese, peacocks and fish in there. There are potential contamination issues," Brimhall said.

She said the city would like to compensate Watson for the pond area, and the Watsons could create a contained pond in another area, so the water doesn't flow in or out of the city storm water system.

"This goes back basically 13 years ago when we moved here," said Watson. "During that time there was a stream that ran through our property on 600 West."

Watson said the geese and fish have died off as the city has cut off the water source.

At the time he made the agreement for the water to come onto his property, he said, he was just asked to donate a little to the city fireworks show and the water issue would be taken care of for him.

"The African geese and peacocks are all dead now the water was shut off. The black koi, worth thousands of dollars, are now all gone because the water ceased to flow," said Watson of the fowl and fish he once had.

As for contamination, Watson asked why the city would have a problem with his few birds when there were many ducks on any given night in the canal by Lee's Market.

"If you were in my shoes, how would you feel?" he asked. "I've been paying taxes clear out to the middle of the road, and my square footage has dwindled away. You are taking away the potential quality of my home. It was unique on that road, and now its all gone."

Watson said he is also concerned about the removal of many mature trees with the widening of 600 West.

"Property and money aside, we are just here to talk about storm water," said Councilman Toby Mileski.

Brimhall said once water enters the city storm water system it is the city's responsibility and the city must meet state and federal guidelines.

"We are legally responsible to prevent contamination. Animals may be considered an illicit discharge," Mileski said.

"We have to provide adequate flood control. If we had (Watson's pond) there and your property floods, then we are on the hook."

Mileski said the agreement made with Watson regarding the stream and pond years ago probably never should have happened.

Mileski moved to deny a request from Watson to use the storm water access on the Watson property, and the denial passed with a unanimous vote. Only three council member were in the meeting.

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