Friday, July 14, 2006

Davis County Clipper Report: Flood infrastructure failing

By Tom Busselberg
Davis County Clipper

FRUIT HEIGHTS — Steel pipes with no bottoms. Concrete pipes with no bottoms. Neither scenario was intended, or that way when the flood control pipes were installed 23 or so years ago, but County Public Works Director Tom Smith says that’s what has happened. He’s basing such statements on a year-long study that is backed by documentation and photos. The report was recently received by the county commission. “Everything they (contractors) built in 1983 wore out (is not functioning properly). It shouldn’t be, but it did go out. I don’t know why,” Smith said. “Concrete-lined channels are literally falling apart. There are sink holes in roadways and in the backs of people’s yards, resulting in pipes that are failing,” he said.

All of that took place years ago under another administration.

“We’ve been trying to determine the extent of erosion, the loss of good channels,” County Commissioner Dannie McConkie said. He asked for the study and has background in the field of public works, completing a near-30 year career at the Utah Department of Transportation prior to becoming a commissioner.

“The big, buried pipes that run through the hearts of these (various) communities are worn down,” McConkie told the Clipper Wednesday.

“We have pictures showing that. When gravel comes racing down, those pipes are now eroded clear through. If they fail, we have to dig them out and replace them at extremely accelerated cost. “If we can line them with Teflon liners, we can improve their use for a couple of decades, but it takes money,” he emphasized.

If a projected 5.2 percent tax hike is approved, it would increase maintenance and replacement funding from “about $200,000” to $1.5 million a year, Smith said.

“I’ve estimated the cost based on our county employees doing the work. If we have to contract out it will cost more. But we can only do so much.

“There’s a lot we can do immediately if we had the money to buy the materials. The county could resolve a lot of these issues as far as in the back of home lots, etc.,” Smith said.

“As far as pipe figures I think a lot of that’s going to have to be contracted out. It’s confined space work, basically realigning pipes,” he explained.

“We’d get to the high priority stuff ASAP,” but costs could escalate to five-six times the cost of county employees doing the work.

He envisions the current staff of 15-16 in construction doing the bulk of the work. That would mean likely contracting privately to complete road projects most of those construction folks typically do in the summer months.

“Our flood budget was basically spent this year making sure the spring runoff and rainstorms don’t flood out people, in cleaning grates and debris basins, maintaining the system we have,” Smith said.

Currently, the county is responsible for the 18 storm channels running through the county, from the mountains on the east to the Great Salt Lake on the west.

“We’ve got to fine-tune the numbers” and what can be accomplished each year to determine a timeline, Mc-Conkie said of flood control repair work.

“Then the dream of all dreams would be once we get all these flood projects in place, it would be great to turn them over to the cities for them to own and maintain,” he said.

tbusselberg@davisclipper.com

Above Photo: 4-1/2-FOOT-DEEP SINKHOLE is an “unwelcome visitor” in Dave Umbers’ yard. County money to fix it is tight.

Why is County storm-drain flood control money tight? Watch for more on this story on The Utah Amicus.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Finally; some reports on the failing
water infrastructure from Davis County.

This is not a simple, local phenomena; it is a literal American Epidemic; the aging
Power Plants, Infrastructure
(water, schools, railroads)
Nationally has decreased dramatically
since the Destruction of the
FDR Bretton Woods Financial
System by Synarchist-Led Neo-Fascists; such as Leo Strauss,
and his Contemporaries the French
Jewish Nazi Felix Rohatyn and his
Chilean Co-Fascist

nyarla said...

Save Our Country
From Infrastructure
Collapse; Reinstate
the Machine Tool
Capacity of the Bankrupt
Auto Sector; instead of
allowing subversive Synarchist
Fascists like Rohatyn to
blow our Pelicans Dry!

the general said...

Damn I did't know that there was that much subversive stuff going on in Davis County. Looks like the venerated leaders have just let the county go to hell or down a sink hole..say isn't that on the way to hell? Satan must have something to do with all this failing on the part of the leaders of the County. Hummmmm food for thought....it must be time for a change in who runs Davis County.

Anonymous said...

no shit general