The project is not scheduled to begin for at least a decade, but some Roy residents, including a state lawmaker, already think the proposed route for a Bear River pipeline is all wet.
The 60-mile, $250 million water project is proposed to run through the west side of Roy on its way to Salt Lake City, 30 miles to the south. But the path chosen by the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District is not the best available, say many residents whose homes sit adjacent to it."Maybe they need to delay choosing a route because it's 15 years in the future," said Rep. Gerry Adair, a Republican legislator who owns land the pipe would cross.
Adair said there are many other possible routes that would have less impact on residential areas, such as easements along railroads or the proposed Legacy highway.
But consultants for the project have marked the route, chosen from among eight possibilities, as the least obtrusive to area home owners, said district general manager Ivan Flint.
"No matter where you put it, there are some people that aren't going to like it, but this route by far is the best route," Flint said.
The district has forged ahead in attempting to buy land now for the necessary easements, Flint said.
"The west side is developing so fast, it's all going to be subdivided 10 years from now," he said. "If we wait, we're going to be buying homes and business instead."
As it stands now, no homes will have to be removed to build the pipeline.
Adair claims some residents are upset that the district is buying property now and potentially avoiding having to pay owners higher prices down the road.
Property owners are entitled to several rights as Weber Basin begins its purchasing efforts. Some of those rights include receiving written offers, negotiating prices and getting paid in cash, said Craig Call, the state's private property ombudsman.
But the Bear River situation is unique because of the project's timeline, he added.
"How are you going to judge things that are going to happen 10 years from now?" he said. "It's fairly unusual that somebody runs a 78-inch pipe through your town, so there's little precedent."