Study Shows Water Levels Impacted By Proposed Wallsburg Development Plan

Jul 17, 2018

Credit Deer Creek DWR

The Wasatch County Council met last week on a couple of water issues along with a discussion about the Highway 40 corridor management plan. Planning efforts are underway to build a bypass route around Heber City and the County Council wanted to be sure Heber municipal is on board with the overall management plan.  Carolyn Murray has this:

The Truth in Taxation meeting held last week with the Wasatch County Council will raise taxes $6.00 per month on a $400,000 home.  Wasatch County Manager, Mike Davis says the Central Utah Water Conservancy keeps the tax rate at the ceiling and as property values increase, the rates drop. The water system has aging infrastructure and by law they’re required to keep reserve funding.   

“That pipe is failing and that’s tens of millions of dollars replacement. They’ve been told by the federal regulators they need to increase their reserves for repairs.  They are required to have these hearings in the different areas where they have service and so they were having that hearing with Wasatch County. It is all of the Central Utah Water area which is Summit, Wasatch, Duchesne, Uintah, Utah County, Salt Lake County and Juab County.”

The Council heard from the Utah Geological Survey with preliminary findings on the impacts on the water table if a proposed development in Wallsburg is approved.

    “There is a developer in the Wallsburg area who’s proposed a substantially large development and one of the things the County Council wanted to do before they entertained whether or not to do that development, was to take a look at the ground water and water systems in the Wallsburg area.  What he said is if we do increase more ground water usage, more wells or something like that, we likely will decrease the surface water capacities in the streams and so forth.  It’s kind of at a balance to a degree, if we take from one it’ll take from another.”

Davis says the County Council will wait for the final report and they’ll hold public hearings before they vote on the development approval.

UDOT and Wasatch County established the Highway 40 corridor master plan several years ago.  It’s a response to the 8000 unit development planned in the North Village area near the UVU campus. Davis says as Heber City pursues future plans to mitigate traffic on their Main Street, the County Council needs assurance They’re on board with the Highway 40 corridor general plan.

“The concern that Wasatch County had is that Heber City is perhaps proposing to annex some of that area of the North Village.  What we wanted to insure was that if Heber City did annex that area, they would abide by the same corridor management plan we had already come up with several years ago. It was with UDOT and that was an agreement Heber City will agree to that.”

Davis says the County is supportive of Heber’s efforts to take Highway traffic off of their Main Street.

“Wasatch County enacted several years ago a corridor management fee which is attached to your vehicle registration.  That money is used solely for purchasing right of way for future roads. The one that is at the top of the list for Wasatch County is what has been called the bypass road. Wasatch County and Heber City both have purchased tracks of land where this proposed bypass road will go.”

Surveys and traffic studies are underway. Davis says moving the highway appeals to many people because it would take truck traffic completely off of Main Street in Heber City.  

“If we have a bypass, we can’t necessarily force that traffic off of Main Street because Main Street is still the Highway 40.  But if Highway 40 is moved, we could enforce moving the truck traffic off of Main Street.  That’s something that will be looked at and discussed.  There will be a public hearing sometime in August and in September.  Certainly that’s going to be a very interesting discussion once we get into that.”

Stay tuned to KPCW for more details on future public hearings to address the Highway 40 corridor through the Heber Valley.