Infrastructure & Flooding
On August 1, 2021 Enoch faced the most severe flooding recorded in decades and likely ever. Despite some assertion this event was a regular occurrence or was similar in size to the flooding of 2012 that is just factually untrue. The storm which flooded the area in 2012 was recorded by a local resident as 1.98" but the storm on July 1, 2021 was 2.50" and the storm 24 hours later was between 5.0"-6.0" in less than a 12 hour period.
Since the 2012 flooding the city has implemented projects to attempt to move water from the I-15 side of town to the northern most area detention areas and avoid as much of community as possible. There was a $1m NRCS project which funded major upgrades to the system. These upgrades were completed in early 2016 with additional detention areas in Iron Mountain Park in the few years following. During all this time as mayor I have worked with staff to get additional NRCS funding to begin installation of detention basins on the east side of I-15. This is BLM land and while the BLM is agreeable to our use of the land for these purposes, federal law requires an environmental assessment to determine what changes the proposed use will have on the public land. We are already one year and nearly $500,000.00 into this process of assessment and planning. These funds have also come from NRCS and other non-city sources.
After the most recent flooding we have been discussing with engineers and other parties how to expand this project based on the flood information we have about additional flows. The scope and cost of the project has expanded due to the August 2021 floods .The map on the left shows the points the detention basins are to located and the propose combination of pipe and open channel to move the water through, around and under the city to avoid neighborhoods. This project will cost many millions of dollars.
The question for Enoch City will be how to fund these improvements. It is true there are grants, but they are competitive and many cities apply for funding from them. Sales tax revenues can assist, but Enoch City by state law is only allowed to receive a 1% option. This means for every $100m of sales in where sales tax is collected, Enoch would receive $1m. To give perspective how little this really is Cedar City's budget only includes as a revenue $8m for all the sales that occur in Cedar City in the last year. Enoch City's taxes are low, in fact the entire City budget including ALL sources of revenue, taxes, fees, water, etc. is less than $3.5m.
The detention basins in 2016 were projected to cost $2.89m. Since then only costs and scope of the project have increased with information and time. Over the years as mayor these discussions in council meetings have been discussions between no funding, special improvement districts where a neighborhood pays for its own improvements and a more general fee or tax on the community at large.
We can all agree doing nothing is not an option and while special improvement districts are possible they would not address the general needs we have seen in the last few years. I have proposed to the city council to pursue all methods of funding, including if necessary a revenue bond paid for by increase to our storm drain fee which is only $2 per month. This will allow us to to implement the general storm drainage projects as quickly as possible. Waiting to bring in businesses to pay with sales taxes is not a solution. These projects will be millions of dollars combined and would take years to generate enough to pay for through only sales taxes.