The Town of Payson last week took one more step toward bringing water from the C.C. Cragin Reservoir, formerly known as Blue Ridge, to the taps of Payson.
The Payson Town Council approved a contract Thursday night with SWCA Environmental Consultants for a fee not to exceed $172,500 for an environmental assessment of the project.
Town Manager Fred Carpenter said the assessment will help the town determine the options for moving the water from the reservoir to Payson. The environmental assessment is being funded out of Payson's water fund.
Among other things, the assessment will help determine the best route for the pipeline to follow, Carpenter said.
The environmental assessment is one of the initial steps in getting approval to transport C.C. Cragin Reservoir water from Washington Park Generating Site, located in the Washington Park subdivision, to Payson.
SWCA will prepare an environment assessment for the proposed Payson pipeline that will be 15 miles long with a right-of-way width of 100 feet. The project will also include the use of a five-acre water treatment plant site on U.S. Forest land in the town limits.
Payson Public Works Director Buzz Walker said he anticipates the assessment will take 12 months to complete, and added, the town could still do the engineering work while the assessment takes place.
Walker said SWCA is a business the town knows well because the company has done work for Payson in the past.
Council member Ed Blair wanted the council to delay awarding the contract to SWCA so the town could get bids from more companies. His amendment failed.
Carpenter said the actual timeline of when water from the reservoir could be brought into Payson is up in the air, but seven to 10 years is his conservative estimate.