Sterling water: Good news, not so good news
By Doug Lowe
STERLING—In their first meeting of the new year, members of Sterling’s town council found themselves discussing and worrying a lot about water.
However, there was some good news on the water front, in the form of a slide show charting the progress made last year in redeveloping two springs using a mix of funding sources for the $800,000 project.
Project engineer Lynn Wall from Fillmore documented work done last autumn by the contractor, Lamar Barton Excavating of Ephraim, on regaining the water from two springs, Upper Forbush and Lower Forbush, that were no longer productive.
Located east of Palisade State Park in Funks Canyon, the town lost its water from Upper Forbush decades ago, in 1983, when the spring got washed out by unusually heavy runoff that year. The second spring, Lower Forbush, according to Sterling Mayor Randall Cox, “went dry on us last year.”
Some of Wall’s slides showed early-autumn snow on the ground. He told his viewers, “Once the snow has melted and the contractor can get up there again, the entire project should be completed in two months.” The slides showed two new collection boxes along with a thick poly sheet covering installed at Upper Forbush.
In addition, the slides showed lengths of pipe that will be installed in order to improve the network of pipes bringing water from the upper to the lower spring, and from there to Sterling’s water tank. One of the photos revealed clues about what may have caused last year’s loss of water from Lower Forbush.
Wall pointed out where water can clearly be seen coming from a new area that is likely allowing it to flow under and/or around the collection box rather than into it. That problem is one that Wall expects to solve once work resumes.
Later in the meeting, more water issues arose when Rick and Lisa Gubler, who lived just outside the town, came to tell the council of two concerns: one with water rights and the other with a survey of their property that does not agree with a survey done six months later for their neighbor by a different surveyor.
Action of the Gubler’s water problem was postponed “for a couple of months” in the hope that foreseeable changes may well resolve the difficulty without the city becoming involved.
The council then considered extending of the town’s current moratorium on permitting any building that would need municipal water. With water from Upper and Lower Forbush expected to arrive in the summer, the possibility of allowing a small number of new homes—around five—was favorably discussed without any final decision being reached.
At that point, council member Doug Ludvigson suggested, “We need to buy some more meters.” The suggestion was well received with the stipulation that such an order would need to be carefully timed: both to make the most of town monies, and to ensure delivery before real need arose.
Fire Chief Nick Lyon reported to council that his team of volunteers is “the best trained ever,” and detailed the various trainings and certifications already gained or on the horizon.
He also thanked the town’s leaders for the extra engine they allowed the department to purchase used, from Roy, last year. Lyon also thanked council for allowing members of his team, last year, to gain additional experience and earn extra money by going to fight fires in various places—near and far.
During the meeting, three town council members were sworn in: Kendall Voorhees and Yvonne Larsen for additional terms (four years and two year, respectively) and Justin Alder for his first four-year term.