Vernal City Council Denies Monetary Commitment to Storm Water Project

Vernal City Council declined to approve financial commitment to a Uintah County Flood Control Plan during Wednesday’s City Council meeting. Plans to update the flood control system have been discussed since a 2008 study outlined projects needed to mitigate flood risks. Uintah County reassessed the projects from that study and determined that the system could be upgraded for around $23.5 million dollars, down from the $189 million dollar proposal from the 2008 study. City and county officials met on Monday and while all agreed the project is an important one, each entity was left to determine how they would fund their portion of it. During Wednesday’s meeting, Vernal City Manager Ken Bassett explained that Vernal City’s potential cost over 30 years would be around $1.5 million dollars and that the City would need to implement a fee to Vernal City residents in order to create the revenue needed to cover that cost. Members of the council expressed general support of the project but did not feel it was fair to implement a fee to city residents during a year of economic hardship. A motion was made to not offer monetary support of the project at this time. The motion was unanimously approved.