Deal secures water for Snyderville
In signing an agreement with Park City and the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District the Summit County Commission has likely secured a water supply for Snyderville for nearly 20 years.
"It’s been a long time in the making," Summit County Commissioner Bob Richer said. "It’s taken a lot of people a long time and lots of negotiations to make this happen."
Since the mid-1990s the county and Park City have reserved water in eastern Summit County that is owned by Weber Basin Water Conservancy District.
"This was very much a cooperative effort," the county’s Mountain Regional Water Special Service District chief Andy Armstrong said praising Richer’s "superior negotiating skills."
The agreement signed Wednesday makes 4,100 new acre-feet of water available to the county.
"It takes mutual agreement from all three parties to make something like this happen," Richer said. "There was give and take on the part of all involved."
With the contract City Hall adds 2,500 acre-feet to its water supply, enough to serve the city through its buildout, Park City Mayor Dana Williams said.
Meanwhile, Richer says water the county gets in the deal will serve the Snyderville Basin for at least 15 years.
"It was a strategy that was laid out in early 2004," Richer said.
But the federal government needed to weigh in before the county and Park City could seal the deal.
With the county and its competitor, the private-sector Summit Water Distribution Company contemplating constructing separate pipelines, ultimately providing for growth expected in western Summit County will require projects from Rockport near Wanship and East Canyon reservoir in Morgan County, a report from the Bureau of Reclamation states.
"[Rockport] should be the top priority for the Basin in terms of obtaining water," Armstrong said.
City Hall agreed to deliver its water through an expanded version of the county’s existing Lost Creek Canyon Pipeline, said Park City Public Works Director Jerry Gibbs.
"This is a big deal," Gibbs said. "This now provides us a source of water, once we get it into Park City, that will meet our demands until 2050."
He expects the portion of the pipeline that delivers water into Park City to begin near Promontory and follow near the Rail Trail into Park City.
"This has been an effort for the last 10 years to get the project from the original agreement to where we start putting pipes in the ground," Gibbs said.
When asked about the lengthy negotiations, Richer said, "some of these things just broke down over the years."
Working with Summit County to deliver the reserved water significantly reduced the cost of a project that could have exceeded $30 million, Gibbs said adding that impact fees from new development, plus some increased user rates, could cover Park City’s costs for the project estimated at between $15 and $20 million.
Richer claims water rates in the county won’t increase, adding, "most of the infrastructure for Mountain Regional is already in place."
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