Draper Irrigation Co. has managed to do two seemingly contradictory things at once - and satisfy some people in the process.
Residents in the area of 855 East between 110th and 114th South had had flooding problems in previous years from the Draper Irrigation Canal and asked Sandy officials to help them win the irrigation company's help in preventing another year's leakage.Sandy officials met with Draper Irrigation officials and offered to pay half the cost of dredging and lining the offending stretch of canal. But Draper Irrigation contended that it bears no legal liability for the flooding.
Public Works Director Darrel Scow told City Council members Tuesday that a way off the dilemma's horns was found by Wayne Ballard, a board member of the irrigation company.
Scow said Ballard arranged for Salt Lake County to help dig out the canal.
It turns out that the county has a contract with Draper Irrigation to use the canal for flood-prevention purposes and to provide some of the canal maintenance in return, Scow said.
So crews from the county and Sandy cleaned the canal section, widening it and deepening it by almost 2 feet in some places, and now it's being lined with clay and bentonite, a sealing material.
Scow said the work will be finished well before April 15, when water starts flowing through the canal.
Area residents thanked Sandy officials for their help with the flooding problem. But spokesman Kurt Rowley said the residents are still worried about the safety problem posed by the canal's proximity to Altara Elementary School.
City Attorney Wally Miller said neither Sandy nor the canal company is responsible for fencing the canal, and Sandy doesn't want to do it because it would create legal liability for the city.
Officials agreed to look into whether the property developer has met his responsibility.