BRIGHAM CITY -- Ruby Pipeline will be wrapping up its monthslong project to install natural gas pipe through Box Elder County later this spring.
With the pipeline's pending completion, county roads director Bill Gilson is looking ahead to make sure the county's roads will be left in the condition they were in before construction began.
County Commissioner Brian Shaffer said he is confident Ruby Pipeline will do exactly that. Gilson and Shaffer met with pipeline officials Tuesday afternoon to discuss the details of a memorandum of understanding issued by the county this month. The agreement calls for Ruby Pipeline to adhere to conditions in its conditional-use permit that require them to make whatever repairs are necessary to county roads damaged by installation of the pipeline.
The county has identified four sections of road that need attention: the county landfill road, the Sunset Pass Road near the Golden Spike National Monument, and roads in Kelton and Locomotive Springs. Gilson identified what is needed on each road and provided a detailed list of necessary repairs by Ruby Pipeline.
In Tuesday's meeting, David Smith and Joe Currie represented Ruby Pipeline and assured the county the roads would not be left in poor condition.
"It is our intent to put the roads in as good or better shape than we found them," said Smith.
While the company is not balking at leaving the roads in good condition, there was some discussion regarding how much of the damage could be directly attributed to Ruby Pipeline and whether there might be some savings involved if Box Elder County's Road Department did some of the work instead of the pipeline company paying contractors to do it. Currie said this could give the county some ownership in the quality of the repair work.
However, although Gilson said his crew could do some of the work, they would not be able to work all of it into their regular maintenance schedule. And Schaffer also pointed out that the law requires that any work in excess of $140,000 must be put out for bid.
Currie also suggested that when the county is determining the cost of repairs for these roads, they consider tax revenue that will be paid by the pipeline company starting in 2012. However, Shaffer said the county is not interested in using tax dollars to fix roads when those funds could instead be used to perpetuate other projects in the county.
Gilson said the county should not have to spend tax revenues for road repair when the conditional-use permit requires Ruby Pipeline to leave the roads in the condition in which they were found.
Ruby Pipeline and Box Elder County representatives will drive throughout the county next week and look at each of the roads in question to jointly assess the damage and come to an agreement in terms of how much repair will be completed in each specific area.
Gilson said none of the necessary repairs are extensive, but after working with Rocky Mountain Power, he learned it is much more beneficial to all parties to come to this kind of agreement before the project is completed instead of waiting until the end.