County, city representatives discuss financing of canal project

Council members from Logan, North Logan, Hyde Park, Smithfield and Cache County met Wednesday evening to discuss the Cache Community Emergency Watershed Project, also known as the canal project. Since the landslide in Logan in July 2009, different canal options have been discussed as a safe, efficient alternative to the old canal. Several options were considered and each indicated by a specific color, for easy identification. Forward movement has been taken on the plan known up to this point by the color purple. This plan adds a box culvert on the already existing Logan, Hyde Park and Smithfield Canal somewhere between the mouth of Logan Canyon and 1500 North. A water control structure will also be added to the preexisting canal, which will allow for a pressure pipe to run along 1500 North between the Logan, Hyde Park and Smithfield Canal to the Logan Northern Canal. If everything moves ahead according to plan, construction is estimated to begin in 2012 and end in 2015. National Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) estimates show the canal project could cost up to $25.8 million. Of this amount, the NRCS would pay $19,350,000, leaving the rest to the canal companies, the county and the cities involved. The canal companies would be responsible for 60 percent of this remaining $6,450,000. The cities would then need to make up for the rest of the cost. However, the cost will not be split equally between municipalities. Based on cost benefit analysis, Logan would be responsible for 40 percent of the remaining cost, North Logan 25 percent, Hyde Park and Smithfield 15 percent each and Cache County 5 percent. This figures and percentages are estimates and are subject to change. The county’s water department manager Bob Fotheringham said the proposed project reflects how the valley reacts to emergency situations. He said, “When there are problems, we work as a community.” Council members at the workshop at Smithfield City Hall Wednesday were encouraged to discuss the issue within their own city councils and decide whether their city would like to be a part of the community canal project. –

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