The Washington County Water Conservancy District, owner of the Quail Creek Reservoir dike, has passed a resolution promising "fair payment" for losses in the New Year's Eve flood caused by the dike's failure.
The conservancy district has $1 million in liability insurance with TransAmerica. Damage has been estimated at $12 million from the flooding in the St. George area of southwestern Utah.Funding must come from other sources to cover all the losses, said Ron Thompson, director of the district.
The resolution says the district is working with state and federal officials and TransAmerica to obtain the money.
The district also voted to suspend an engineering contract with Rollins, Brown and Gunnell Inc., the Provo-based firm that designed the Quail Creek dike.
The contract is for the proposed North Creek Reservoir project near Virgin, Washington County. An environmental assessment for the North Creek project has been slated.
Thompson said the Utah Community Impact Board may have money to cover flood losses. In addition, St. George residents are awaiting word on how much, if any, federal and state money may be available.
Thompson was accused of responsibility in the incident by Wes Fergusson, Bloomington.
Fergusson said at a district board meeting that Thompson was aware the dike would break hours, or even weeks, before it happened. Thompson said the dike began seeping large amounts of water only on the day of the flood and officials didn't know it was going to break until 10 p.m. Dec. 31 when they began warning residents.
The district has denied the Quail Creek Flood Victims Committee permission for a representative to attend board meetings. Thompson said, however, the committee will be kept abreast of developments.
Committee members also said they have been contacted by attorneys from Salt Lake City and Idaho regarding legal action from the flood. Committee officials said the attorneys have offered help in litigation or in lobbying the Legislature for money. In turn, they have asked for 10 percent of all claims received.
However, the committee has declined to hire them.
Larry Belliston, committee chairman, said most victims feel there are enough knowledgeable attorneys in St. George.