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Nibley P&Z discusses solutions for field drain maintenance

January 27th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Stephanie Zollinger

NIBLEY–The Planning and Zoning Commission met Wednesday night, reviewing a concern over maintenance of field drains.

There are two purposes of field drains: to drain off water in the spring to dry out the field for preparations for the first crop and to drain off water after a flood irrigation. If the field drains clog, it will saturate the ground resulting in a possible basement flood. Carrie Cook of the commission brought up this concern a month ago and was ready to hear ideas for the solution.

When the city was first being developed the government encouraged cities to keep track where the field drains were located. According to City Manager Larry Anhder, it was good advice but it didn’t happen, resulting in confusion. Now the city is trying to document where the drains are. They conducted a study to locate all known field drains but recognize some have been missed.

There were three solutions discussed. First, the city would take responsibility and maintain all field drains. “If we don’t maintain them, nobody will,” Anhder said.

Commission member Wayne Anderson said that the cost of this would be very large, resulting in higher city taxes. As a citizen Anderson said he didn’t want to have to pay more for something he didn’t use and hardly affected him. The magnitude of the project could result in many claims if the city took full responsibility and therefore would cause a substantial void in the budget.

The second idea was to require the owner of the property with the field drain running through it to keep it clear. That would take the responsibility off the city and onto the people. While that would be nice, it wouldn’t be fair to the people, because it isn’t theirs, Anhder said. They didn’t buy the field drain, just the land above it.

The last idea was to do nothing, and just deal with each case as it came.

The commission finished discussing it and made no set plans on when they will bring it to the table again. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please let the commission know so a decision can be made.


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