After more than a year of frustration, Utah County commissioners have come up with $360,000 needed to address safety concerns they say should have been taken care of years ago at the Thistle mudslide site.
On Thursday, the state Community Impact Board granted the county $180,000 in disaster relief funds. Coupled with another $180,000 in Department of Public Safety funds granted earlier this year, the county can proceed with the project."We have the money in hand, the complete $360,000," Commissioner Brent Morris said after commissioners and County Engineer Clyde Naylor met with the impact board, which comprises several state department heads.
Naylor and state officials are expected to complete before month's end engineering plans and an agreement outlining responsibilities. Officials then will decide when to begin construction of a debris basin at the inlet of a tunnel built at Thistle to drain a lake created by a large mudslide in 1983.
The mudslide blocked the Spanish Fork River, creating a dam.
"We hope to have the agreement within two weeks," Morris said. He said construction on the basin likely will begin as soon as weather permits. "It'll be great to see it completed."
The 35-acre debris basin will cost approximately $60,000. About 95,000 yards of dirt and rock will be excavated at a cost of $142,500.
The debris basin will provide better control of debris and silt, and a $90,000 control structure will be installed near the tunnel inlet so water flow into the tunnel can be stopped to allow workers to do repairs on the tunnel floor.
The plan also calls for some tunnel repairs and $35,000 to purchase land that will be inundated when the basin fills. The county already has spent $15,000 in preliminary engineering costs, but another $15,000 is needed for construction engineering.
Commissioners had hoped to find funding for the project last year but were unable to get a legislative appropriation because the state budget was tight.