Ben Zobell wants something, and he is willing to mobilize an army to get it.
Or at least the National Guard.Zobell wants the mud cleared from Lincoln Beach harbor near Spanish Fork.
"The county says it doesn't have the money to do the job," the Spanish Fork resident said Tuesday. "I want to know what our boat taxes have gone for all these years if there's not enough to help the boaters."
Zobell said there is about three feet of mud over the harbor's shallow rock floor, but if the mud were cleared, almost any boat in the area could clear the bottom. He said south-county boaters want a place to house their crafts, but safety is also a factor.
"If a storm comes up, there is no place to come ashore without getting stuck in the mud."
So Zobell called Utah County officials.
"They said we needed to explain our problem to the engineers, so we took them out and showed them," Zobell said. "They said they didn't have the authority to help us; we would have to talk to the County Commissioners. Why did they bother to send us engineers? We keep getting the runaround."
Jack Phillips, director of public works for the county, was unavailable for interview. But he said in an earlier report that clearing the mud would do little good. Not only would the project cost about $6,000, but the harbor would probably fill with mud again and might need to be cleared annually.
Six thousand dollars seems high to Zobell.
"For example, he was figuring $150 an hour for a rig and an operator to clear the mud. A man I heard of only charges $80 an hour."
Zobell said the county wouldn't have to clear the mud every year. He said it took years to get to its current depth, and he thought it would take years to return to that depth.
He contacted the Utah National Guard to see if it could clear the mud, and reserve officals are considering using the project as a training exercise, Zobell said.
"Talking to the county engineers didn't do any good," he said. "I'm going to get it arranged with the Guard, then talk to the county commissioners."
Zobell also wants to organize an army of boat owners.
"On weekends, there are always between 10 and 100 boats in the area. This harbor could house 300 boats. I would like to organize boat owners to work together. This is one of the most unique harbors I've seen, and I hate to see it go to waste."