By Kelsey Keener
PARAGONAH–A Paragonah resident remains frustrated after a flood channel was dug on his property in error by Iron County, but has been assured the problem will be corrected by mid-September.
Tony Dalton, owner of D9 Custom Cuts, owns roughly 140 acres off of Foothill Drive at the mouth of Little Creek Canyon in Paragonah. According to his knowledge, Dalton’s neighbor to the north, Don Roberts, asked the county for help controlling water flow after major flooding last year. The county’s solution was apparently to create an addition to the flood channel that currently existed, but it was mistakenly dug on Dalton’s property instead of Roberts’.
Dalton said the ditch disturbed approximately one and a half to two acres of Dalton’s land, the process of putting it in broke fencing along his property and was not repaired, and was done with no notification to or permission from Dalton. The ditch runs from east to west along the north end of Dalton’s property.
Dalton said he did not find out about it until he leased the land to someone to graze cattle.
“We rented the pasture to a neighbor, he turned his cows in … he came down and his cows were out on (Roberts’) property,” he said. “He called me up and said ‘Do you know you’ve got a ditch dug on your property and the fence is torn down and the flood channel’s been dug out?’ I didn’t have a clue.”
After making this discovery, Dalton was able to get ahold of the county engineer Steve Platt, who met with Dalton and several of his family members on May 4. During the meeting, Dalton said Platt admitted to making a mistake and promised to fix it. He said Platt has contacted him recently and assured him that it will be fixed by Sept. 15. Dalton requested that the ground be leveled back out and reseeded with the native vegetation.
The land is normally used for cattle and sheep grazing, but because of the ditch and unrepaired fences cannot currently used for that purpose. Additionally, Dalton intends to use the property in his agricultural rotation and plant dryland wheat.
Besides not being able to make use of his property since the channel was dug incorrectly, Dalton has other concerns as well.
“Now they’ve turned it into, as the federal government would classify it, highly erodible land,” he said.
Dalton is also concerned about where any flood water will actually flow, because if it flows to the east instead of to the west it will create more of a flood hazard and more erosion. He’s hopeful the county’s repair will prevent that as well.