A Utah County legislator has requested a state audit of the Central Utah Project to investigate allegations that too much money has been devoted to some projects.
Rep. Donald R. LeBaron, R-Highland, has written Wayne Welch, legislative auditor general, stating that there is some concern throughout his district concerning the CUP."Specifically, there are charges being made that the original intent of the legislation creating this project has not been followed. Others contend that some projects funded under the project have been inappropriate in size and purpose," LeBaron wrote.
"Would you please request your committee to initiate an audit of these items and include others relating to the CUP as may be appropriately related."
LeBaron said he had talked to other local legislators and they concurred with the request, and had also talked to Dee Hansen, director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources, and Hansen said such an audit would clear the air concerning the CUP.
Welch said LeBaron's request would be submitted to the Legislative Management Committee's audit subcommittee. The subcommittee is composed of Senate Minority Leader Rex Black, D-Salt Lake; Senate Majority Whip Dix McMullin, R-Salt Lake; House Majority Leader Craig Moody, R-Sandy; and Rep. Beverly White, D-Tooele.
Welch said CUP falls within the jurisdiction of his office because the federally funded project is managed by the Central Utah Water Conservancy District, a political subdivision of the state.
The CUP has come under fire recently by Utah County residents whofear the loss of their water rights to Salt Lake County.
The issue came to a head recently in a controversy over the maintenance of a minimum flow in the Provo River to sustain the Class A fishery.
The Utah County Water Advisory Board has also expressed concern over aquifers and springs drying up as a result of the reduced flow, and the loss of long-standing water rights on the river, particularly the winter water rights.
Jordanelle Dam, being constructed six miles above Heber City, is designed to provide an additional 70,000 acre feet of water per year for Salt Lake County, and 20,000 acre feet for northern Utah County to be delivered through the Orem Water Treatment Plant and Jordan and Alpine aqueducts.