Letter: Chance for public to weigh in on Willard gravel operation
Willard Canyon is closed to all PUBLIC access. I know there are some members of the PUBLIC outside of Box Elder County who have hiked Willard Canyon, and this long-time available access is now gone.
In October 2022 the Willard City Council and Mayor informed the public (and citizens) of their intensions to sell city owned gravel. The Gravel Company and owners of the pit had put many items on the negotiation table: Discussion of safe, legal access across their property to Willard Canyon, which has historically been open. One dollar a ton for gravel, (estimating) 1.5 to 2 million tons. This deal would extend the life of the gravel pit from an estimated 10 years to 35 years. The ongoing promise of better dust control, and a reclamation bond was also included.
One year later (October 2023) the company and owners are now making an offer of one million dollars, for the estimated 1.5 million tons of gravel. The company has put up a fence and no trespassing signs, blocking Willard Canyon and the CCC trail above. Even with this year’s moisture, when the wind blows, dust rolls in clouds from the pit. They say it has improved, but I haven’t noticed, and like their other promises, what can Willard expect from the reclamation promise 35 years from now.
Our Willard City Officials are still moving forward with this offer, accepting whatever they get. A public hearing will be held Thursday, (the 16th) to find out if this issue is in the public’s interest. One of the purposes of a public hearing is to gauge whether the new use of the property aligns with the public interest. If extending gravel operations in a pit for another 25 years, (just east of Willard Bay State Park) is not in your interest, attend this public meeting (written letters accepted) and let it be known.
Write or attend the Box Elder Planning Commission Meeting, scheduled for November 16, 2023, at 7:00 p.m., in the County Commission Chambers of The Historic Courthouse, 01 South Main Street, Brigham City Utah 84302.