By Kelsey Keener
CEDAR CITY–The Cedar City Council has approved filing an Eminent Domain Action in order to move forward on a project to extend a sewer line.
The city’s desired pathway for the sewer line goes through private property owned by Kathleen Slack and Christine Imlay, who are opposed to having the line run through it. They asked the city to go around their property either to the west or east, but those pathways are less feasible for the city.
“Both of those options would cost at least $800,000 to $1 million more in capital expense,” City Manager Paul Bittmenn said. “They would both increase our operational expense because they would both entail putting in new lift stations, because they’re not gravity fed options and we wouldn’t eliminate any of the existing pump stations.”
The extra cost and maintenance that going around the private property is the reason City Council members decided to approve an Eminent Domain action, in order to move forward with the planned extension line.
Bittmenn said there are several reasons the city wants to extend the sewer line. Currently, the majority of the city’s waste is transported to the wastewater plant via one of the two major sewer lines. The planned extension will not only ease some of the stress being placed on one line by splitting it up more, but will also eliminate one of the city’s pump stations as it would be entirely gravity-fed. Additionally, the extension is planned to help manage the city’s projected growth.
Bittmenn said the city acknowledges the property owners’ reluctance to have municipal improvements done on their property, but the city is trying work with them.
“With these lines going through these agricultural properties, we’re going to bury them so deep, and we’ve even engineered them so we can bury the manholes deep enough, that once we’re out of their way, they can farm them like normal,” Bittmenn said. “We’ll do installation in their off-season so that we don’t have an impact on their operation while they’re producing whatever crops they want to produce. We want to be there and be good neighbors and be almost invisible to them and have them be able to use their land and be as productive as possible.”