Council Says Water A 'Regional Problem'

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by Jim Keyworth

roundup staff reporter

The Town Council passed an amended resolution in support of water exploration in Mayfield Canyon designed to reassure residents of Star Valley and Diamond Point Shadows that their wells will not be adversely affected.

The resolution passed 6-1 at Thursday night's council meeting with two amendments proposed by Councilmember Jim Spencer. The first recognized the importance of finding and developing new sources of water as a regional problem, rather than a town problem.

A new section was also added that says, in part, "It is not the intent of this council to acquire water supplies that will adversely affect the water supplies of neighboring citizens."

Earlier, Public Works Director Buzz Walker provided an overview of the status of the town's proposal to drill 21 exploratory wells in the vicinity of Mayfield Canyon north of Star Valley.

"We'll drill a hole, and if there's something there, we'll go into an entirely different phase," Walker said.

"Now, the Forest Service is necessitating further work," he said. "At the end of the formal comment period, they will identify significant issues and instruct us to show them how we're going to mitigate those issues.

"We don't quite understand how we're going to mitigate drilling a hole in the ground when we're not asking to transfer water."

Councilmember Ken Murphy emphasized the need to approach the problem on a regional basis.

"We need to look at water as a regional problem, not a Payson problem, not a Star Valley problem," Murphy said. "The importance of exploring for water in this area is to find out what's down there, what we are looking at."

Walker said the procedures instituted by the Forest Service will probably delay the drilling of exploratory wells by at least a year.

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