Lake Powell Pipeline gets financing reality check

Published: Friday, Nov. 29 2013 1:25 p.m. MST

Both David Clark and Carol Sapp are members of CIRPAC, who say the results of the modeling were illuminating.

For Sapp, who is executive officer of the Southern Utah Homebuilders Association, the process was a good first step at looking at all the options when it comes to the pipeline, which she said she believes is needed even more urgently.

"It gave me a tangible feel about what has to happen," she said. "I believe that if we want to keep this community one that can support families, support families who want to come back and support grandparents who may not be able to pay extraordinarily large amounts for water, we need the pipeline."

Clark, vice president of international banking for Zions Bank, said the funding scenarios laid out in Aguero's presentation take what was set down in law for the Lake Powell Pipeline project, modeled after how hundreds of projects have been built in the West and across the nation.

"There was a narrowing of fact and fiction to see what the realities of the financial side of this are," he said. "I am a numbers kind of guy, so it was beneficial for me to sit down and go through this. I don't think it gave the final answer, but I think it did narrow some of the pie."

Clark, a former Utah lawmaker who was House speaker, said ultimately, the financing of the project — if it receives the green light from the federal government a few years from now — rightly represents a blend of revenue streams.

"The financing is not as Draconian as people predicted."

Clark did say he believes that the magnitude of the project ought to require that Washington County residents have a voice in the process.

"Voters in the county ought to have an opportunity to say yes, or no," he said. "People in Washington County, with that kind of obligation, ought to have a chance to say if it moves forward."

Email: amyjoi@deseretnews.com

Twitter: amyjoi16

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