Hoping to keep their budget woes at bay, the Star Valley council will once again carefully consider several engineering studies that could ebb the flow of floodwaters but put a hole in their financial rowboat.
In November, the council decided to postpone several engineering studies for detention basins and crossings amidst concerns over the cost of the studies and after doling out nearly half a million for asphalt paving.
However, at the last council meeting, financial adviser Glenn Smith reported town finances are in good shape, but warned with declining income and sales tax as well as photo enforcement revenues, the council should proceed cautiously with any major financial decisions.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the council will reconsider two engineering studies.
The first is contracting with engineering firm Mountain Standard Inc. to design storm water drainage passages at Valley Road, Sprague Ranch and Old Moonlight Drive. The cost for all three plans is nearly $100,000.
Design of the first crossing at Valley Road and Goat Camp Wash would cost $28,400 and include a survey of the area, hydraulic analysis and civil improvement plans. Similar projects at Sprague Ranch Road and Houston Creek, as well as Old Moonlight Drive and Houston Creek, would cost $36,300 and $30,700 respectively.
The town could get help to pay for the projects through a Community Development Block Grant. Recently, Central Arizona Association of Governments representative Cindy Schofield completed a survey that determined the majority of residents around Valley and Pine Ridge Roads have low to moderate incomes, which is required by the grant for approval.
Schofield sent the results to the Arizona Department of Housing and approval is expected in a few weeks. If approved, the town could receive $140,000 for the engineering study and construction costs.
While culverts are one way to handle Star Valley’s floodwaters, the council is also considering placing two detention basins north of town near Houston Creek, Mayfield Canyon or Schoolhouse Canyon. Mountain Standard is asking for $4,900 to complete an engineering study on the feasibility of these basins.
Also at the meeting, the council will meet with the new team from Tetra Tech in charge of analyzing wells and rain gauge date.
At a December meeting, the council decided to ditch hydrology firm LFR Inc. after Tetra Tech offered to do the same services LFR was doing for $11,500 less.
Garrett Goldman, engineering director with Tetra Tech, said he would give quarterly reports on the 11 wells and monthly “unbiased” reports on the Tower Well.
After looking over recent analysis completed by LFR, Goldman said it appears LFR was “slanted to implicate the Tower Well for all variations in the wells.”
“This may be the case; however, the geographic location of each well in relation to the Tower Well along with other wells in the area should be included in this narrative,” he said. “It is our position that this analysis should be unbiased and only make statements that can be supported by technical data.”