Monday, February 11, 2013

Mulling irrigation water fee increase in Salina

Residents in Salina could see a bump in what they pay for pressurized irrigation services this summer.
During a Jan. 23 meeting, Mayor Conrad Miller said he feels the council needs to consider restructuring the fee schedule for its irrigation services. He said at the present rate, the city has no contingency funds in reserve for major maintenance or improvements.

Miller said he came to this conclusion after draining the irrigation pond and putting out to bid the project to dredge it. He said of the two bids that came in, the lowest was $169,000, which the city awarded to Salina based Rasmussen Excavation.

According to Miller, there are some 20,000 yards of material in the bottom of the pond that need to be removed, and with crews moving the excess to a place a mile from the pond, the cost comes to about $8 a yard.

In planning for future dredging or improvement projects, however, Miller said in order for the pond to be self-sufficient, the city has no choice but to increase its monthly service fee.

During the meeting, Councilman Earl Taylor said the city also needs to come up with some $4,250 to help put a slurry seal on the airport runway in Redmond.

The $85,000 project is being 90 percent covered by a grant through the Utah Department of Transportation, but the remaining 10 percent must come from Salina and Gunnison cities, according to Taylor.

Miller said in order to bring the runway up to Federal Aviation Administration standards, the two cities are going to have to dig up the current runway and redo it, lengthening it to 5,000 feet. He said that project will likely cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $600,000 to $700,000. Richfield Reaper