MANTI—The Manti City Council has unanimously approved annexation of just under 30 acres on the south end of the city, with the mayor and council members saying potential problems in development of the land can be addressed when subdivision proposals come up.
“My thoughts are that they’ve done their homework, they’ve done their due diligence,” Councilman Darren Dyreng said at the April 13 council meeting.
So long as the issues that came up in the public hearing—which included making sure a rancher can access a spring on the property and preserving his right of way for moving cattle along the access road—“I’m for the annexation,” Dyreng said.
Councilwoman Mary Wintch said she was concerned about the topography of the annexation site. While part of the property is fairly flat, land on the south end slopes downward.
She said the downward sloping land would be a “huge problem” if the city had to provide sewer services. The council discussed the potential need for a lift station to get sewage up to the level of the rest of the sewer system. Construction of such a facility would be the responsibility of the developer.
“I’m comfortable with having the part that is on higher ground annexed,” Wintch said. “I am not comfortable with the part that goes down low, because I think that does not do anything beneficial for the city.”
Mayor Chuck Bigelow said if and when proposals for the development of the sloping area were presented, “that would be the time to have those discussions,” adding the only item before the council was the annexation and boundaries as presented by the petitioners.
Killian said if the council was concerned about the size of a development, “it could shrink that development, that subdivision, at a later date when it’s before the council.”
At the same meeting Wednesday, April 13, the council did a high-level overview, or what an Kelly Chappell, engineer with Ensign Engineering of Richfield, called “a real quick skim off the top” of a culinary water master plan that has just been completed.
The city paid Ensign Engineering of Richfield $70,000 for the master plan, a geographic information system (GIS) providing location coordinates for all pipes and other water system features, and detailed tables on when and where water is used in the city. Half of the cost was covered by a grant from the Utah Community Impact Board (CIB).
Most of the findings Chappell presented were positive. “Your entire distribution system for the most part meets peak day pressures and peak instantaneous pressure,” he said, meaning the city has plenty of water whenever a customer turns water on.
Chappell continued, “The one area where your city struggles is fire flow [flow to fire hydrants].” The plan recommends replacement of some pipes to help with fire flow.
“You have some really great producing springs,” Chappell said. “You have a great well here in the valley. You need to protect those sources and supplement them as time goes on.”
He said the water master plan recommends redeveloping some existing springs that haven’t been touched for decades “to get additional water out of them and prolong the life of that infrastructure…so they can last another 20 or 30 years.”
During the summer when heavy rains hit, surface water sometimes runs into the springs and affects the purity of the water, Chappell noted.
Following some of those events, the city has issued orders for residents to boil water. “It’s happening often enough that it’s a concern,” he said.
“A water treatment plant would take care of that issue,” he said.
In fact, Manti City recently put a request for $5 million for a water treatment plant on a CIB priority list. The county commission approved the list earlier this month, giving the Manti project high ranking.
Chappell said Manti has plenty of water storage and should not need a new water tank for 15-20 years.
Ensign Engineering also looked at the impact fee the city charges each new water connection. Currently, the fee is $1,400.
“We have an updated study that you can choose to adopt and update your ordinances to be more realistic to what prices are now,” Chappell said.