Thursday , August 29, 2013 - 6:26 AM
OGDEN — Construction through Ogden Canyon is causing concern for residents trying to visit the hot springs built on the property below the placement of a new 24-inch waterline.
Caleb Wilson recently visited the area to take a dip in the springs after a run.
“I rode up there the day before yesterday. I didn’t see anyone taking it apart. But the pools were drained, they all had numbers spray painted on them and some of them looked like they had a sledge hammer taken to them,” Wilson said.
Josh King, public involvement project manager for the city’s consultant the Langdon Group, said the springs are closed for public safety. This was explained at a public meeting, he said, Thursday evening at Mound Fort Junior High.
“The waterline is right above the hot pots, so there’s extreme danger to anyone who wants to access the hot pots for the next 30 days,” King said. “There will be falling rocks, which will obviously expose them to danger.”
Kevin Burns from the Weber County sheriff’s office said deputies are increasing their presence in the area.
“Our concern is just someone being in the hot pots and a big rock falling on them,” Burns said.
Bill King, owner of the property where the springs sit, reiterated the importance of people staying away from the hot springs during construction.
“They are working 300 vertical feet above the hot pots. We can’t have anyone in there, or they’ll get killed,” Bill King said.
Bill King brought up other concerns about people using the springs, which were built by outsiders without permission on his property.
“The way I feel right now is these people are abusing it,” he said. “People are doing drugs, smoking; someone was having bonfires and lighting fireworks. And people die up there. You can’t have that sort of thing going on.”
Bill King said he is not sure whether he will open the hot pots again once construction is completed.
“They’re on private property. The people who built them are liable. There have been three deaths up there,” he said. “These people seem to think they own that property up there, but that is not so. They have violated every rule up there and made these hot springs. We’ll find the people who have built them and hold them liable.”
Bill King added he is open to selling the part of the property where the springs sit.
“If someone wants to buy them from us, that would be fine, but we have no interest in them,” Bill King said.
Construction is expected to be completed in 30 days. Wilson said he is concerned the springs will not reopen again.
“I just want to make sure whatever is going on isn’t permanent,” he said.
Burns said the sheriff’s office supports Bill King’s decision in not reopening the hot pots.
“It’s a very sketchy area. If we can have our way, the hot pots would not reopen as they were,” Burns said.
Crews are cutting a new path for the pipeline just north of the existing line. The work is being performed by Whitaker Construction.
Residents can receive information on the project by calling 801-910-5356 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Text ogdenwater to 25827 for regular updates.
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