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Kane County Water District faces project delays

The Kane County Water Conservancy District (KCWCD) is looking to enter into an inter-agency agreement with Kane County and Kanab City regarding its proposed golf course. At last week’s Board of Director meeting, executive director Mike Noel reported that “the agreement is still in the hands of the county attorney.”

Kanab City Council member Michael East, who is also a KCWCD board member representing the City, said that the City Council has not made a decision on entering into the agreement and that newly elected mayor Troy (Colten) Johnson is undecided.

Noel said that the Kane County Commission’s independent analysis of the financial sustainability of the golf course was completed. The findings have not been made public. The Water District is looking to have Kane County fund the building of the golf course using Transient Room Tax (TRT) funds.

The Water District is also waiting to find out whether it has the land to build the planned golf course at Jackson Flat Reservoir. The Water District submitted an application with the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) to lease 101 acres. The Water District proposed to pay an undisclosed set amount every year plus a percentage of gross income generated by the golf course.

SITLA has received two other applications to buy the land. Noel said he has a meeting scheduled with SITLA. The Board of Directors went into closed session to further discuss the SITLA lease application.

Noel reported that the water level in Jackson Flat Reservoir increased by two percent over the last week. The Water District is replacing a well that supplies water to the reservoir, but is waiting for delivery of the well casing to get started.

The Natural Conservation Resources Service (NRCS) is currently taking scoping comments for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Cove Reservoir in Long Valley. The Water District is also considering nine other alternative sites along the East Fork of the Virgin River between Mt. Carmel Junction and Alton, including Muddy Creek.

The NRCS has not set a deadline for the comments and has not posted the notice of intent (NOI) in the Federal Register. Derek Hamilton, NRCS Water Resources Coordinator, said in October “right now there is no anticipated date. We have a few projects that are taking a little bit longer than hoped for.”

Noel said “I don’t see any major hurdles as far as the project goes,” and he expects the EIS to be completed next year.

The Duck Creek wastewater treatment project is winding down for the winter. The Water District is building two facultative lagoons, aka sewage ponds, and putting in piping infrastructure and a pumping station on Cedar Mountain. The project will resume in the spring. The plan is to connect the Duck Creek campground in 2022.

The KCWCD is merging with the New Paria Water Company to take over their water system. The KCWCD plans to upgrade the water pipe infrastructure in the New Paria and the West Clark Bench subdivisions to the system. Water users in the town of Church Wells opted out of merging with KCWCD.

The Water District was audited earlier this month as part of their yearly audit by the Utah State Auditor Office. Amanda Buhler, KCWCD Office Manager, reported that the audit identified three findings. The first finding was a Utah Public Treasurers’ Investment Fund (PTIF) escrow deposit for a townsite waterline that was not included in the December budget summary, according to Buhler.

The second finding pertained to a fraud risk submission not being presented to the Board of Directors at the time of submission. The third finding revolved around the transaction reporting process and how it could be improved upon to keep credit card statements up to date.




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