PLEASANT VIEW -- The city council in a special meeting voted 3-2 to approve spending up to $110,000 for design and engineering costs for a new well. Councilman Mel Marker and Michael Humphreys voted against the approval, with Scott Boehme, Toby Mileski and Jerold Burns voting for it.
City Administrator Melinda Greenwood said the city on the same day last week also purchased a nearly six-acre site for drilling of the well. The site is near Alder Creek well at approximately 4650 N 300 West. The property was purchased from Ray Ward for $240,000.
The moves come as the city grapples with an increasing water supply problem that has resulted in a development moratorium.
Greenwood said that before any drilling can take place the city will have to file with the state and pay application fees of $500. Officials will also need to hold a public hearing and allow a protest period.
"Weber Basin and Bona Vista are likely to protest," said Greenwood, referring to other nearby water systems, "but the state is likely to grant our request."
Marker said he thought the costs sounded expensive for 3-4 months work on engineering and design.
Humphreys said he didn't want to throw a wrench into the plans, but he had been talking to City Engineer Matt Hartvigson and said there is a well the city abandoned on 600 West and the city still has a right to drill near it within 150 feet. Humphreys said doing this would not require a public hearing and the city might find a lot more water on the flat ground rather than up on the hillside.
Greenwood said this discussion was not what was on the agenda, and a pipeline would have to be built that would include tearing up roads if the city went in that direction.
"The council can look at options and choose the best possibility (for water)," said Greenwood, "We are rolling the dice no matter what we do, it is still a gamble, but we've started down this path ..."
"You're looking at a lot of money. It's a bigger gamble up on the hill," said Humphreys. He also said Weber Basin has a well near the 600 West site.
Greenwood said the city was on the path to get the process of bringing more water to Pleasant View as quickly as possible. She said the council could still discuss other options at the next council meeting.
Boehme said in the last council meeting they came away with the priority of a well on the hill.
"If we switched to the well on 600 West, we would still need money," said Boehme.
Humphreys said he knew there were pros and cons to both routes, and he was just concerned about the amount of costs that would be on the backs of the residents of the city.
Greenwood said she had met with Weber Basin officials and discussed the issue.
"Drilling wells is always a crap shoot," said Greenwood. "We can drill a well and get nothing, or we can get lucky."
According to an estimate from Jones & Associates, the total estimated cost of the well project is $1,882,544. Greenwood said the city will get a lower interest rate and shorter terms if they get funding through the state for the project rather than from the open market.