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Spring City considering joint water infrastructure project with Mt. Pleasant

 

By James Tilson

Associate editor

11-14-2019

 

SPRING CITY—The Spring City Council heard a proposal from the engineers working on Mt. Pleasant’s water infrastructure project to join in with Mt. Pleasant and improve their water infrastructure as well.

Bryce Wilcox, project manager with J-U-B Engineers, spoke to the Spring City council last Thursday about Mt. Pleasant’s reservoir and irrigation system renovation, and how Spring City could “piggy-back” an application to improve their own water system on Mt. Pleasant’s project.

“We see a great opportunity for Spring City,” said Wilcox, who pointed out Mt. Pleasant’s project was funded through the U.S Department of Agriculture Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). The NRCS provides 100 percent grants for flood control projects, and 75 percent grants for agricultural water projects.

Wilcox told the council Spring City could have Mt. Pleasant co-sponsor their application. By having Mt. Pleasant co-sponsor the application, it would cut down on time and effort needed to put forth an application on their own. It also would be able to use many of the same environmental reports because the two cities’ watersheds border each other.

According to Wilcox, J-U-B will replace Mt. Pleasant’s entire secondary irrigation system, and separate the agricultural and residential water systems. They will also rebuild the city’s two debris ponds so that they can be used for flood protection and water storage. The project is currently in the environmental assessment stage.

Wilcox said Spring City could have a similar flood protection plan, depending on what the council decided the city needed.

Councilman Chris Anderson asked, “So the advantage is to piggy-back on Mt. Pleasant’s process?” Wilcox answered, “Yes, it is your own process, but you can use much of the work already done for Mt. Pleasant.”

Anderson then asked, “If we need matching funds, do we have to contribute the money out of pocket?” Wilcox said the city could apply for other grants to obtain any necessary matching funds.

Councilman Craig Clark asked, “Are there any risks to doing this?” Wilcox answered, “It depends on your ability to work together with Mt. Pleasant. They have told me they are willing to talk to you about doing this.”

Wilcox suggested to the council it should schedule an informal meeting with the Mt. Pleasant council for initial discussions, and see if the two parties can work together.

Mayor-elect Cynthia DeGray, who was attending in the audience, asked, “If we decide to go forward with an application, and the application deadline is in January, will we have enough time to file the application on time?”

Wilcox said, “It’s not the hardest application to fill out.” Wilcox explained most of the work would be done in their office, with a team that is specifically employed just to fill out grant applications.

Mayor Neil Sorensen said, “I think it’s a great idea, I’m on-board.” The council then