After four years the county is removing an earthen dike that runs over Reed Christmas' land but he is still not happy.
"At the rate they're moving it, they may never finish," he said. "They built a dike over my land and my neighbors' (land) four years ago and promised to take it out within a couple of years. Well, it's still here, and my land is all dried up and worthless."Christmas said the dike has blocked irrigation ditches on his 50 acres. He has not been able to graze his cattle and says trucks used to build the dike tore up local roads.
"All the roads had to be redone, and with the new trucks, they will be torn up again," he said.
The 31/2-mile dike was built in 1984 to protect about 20 Lake Shore houses from Utah Lake flooding.
"We had an emergency, so we asked the federal government for help," County Engineer Clyde Naylor said. "They sent the Corps of Engineers, and the dike saved the homes.
"If I remember, some agreements said we would remove the dike in two years or when the land was safe from flooding. Well, last year was the first year the area was safe from flooding," he said.
A county crew now is moving the dike at a rate of about a hundred feet per working day. When the Deseret News visited, 600 feet had been removed. At that rate, it will take about 184 working days to remove the entire dike. Crews work when there is no project more pressing, foreman Bert Lucas said.
"I have no idea how long it will take," he said. "We have seven trucks and three operators, but we only work part time. They pull us to work on roads some days."
Naylor said sections of the dike may be left in place.
"There are some homeowners who still want the protection. We will leave the sections on their land. But if there is another flood, the water could just go around the sections."
Naylor said the partial removal should be complete by the end of summer 1989. It could not be moved before 1987 because flood danger remained, and the past year was spent trying to get the Corps of Engineers' permission to remove the dike, he said.
But Christmas doesn't believe the county will keep its promise.
"They are only moving the dirt. What about all the rocks they hauled in?" he said. "I will never be happy until every stone is gone. That's what they promised, and that is the least I'll accept.