Contention growing over canal replacement

<strong>LOGAN—</strong> The Sept. 13 meeting of the Logan Planning Commission could be interesting. JUB Engineers and Logan City, Hyde Park, and Smithfield Canal agents will request a permit to replace an open ditch canal including piping, adding a storm water channel and an access road.

One of many Logan residents protesting the permit is Tony Wegener who told the Logan Municipal Council Tuesday that he owns property on both sides of the canal and property along the canal bed along with other residents.

“I’m responsible for maintenance and public safety on 200 feet of the Logan, Hyde Park, Smithfield canal public thoroughfare, and I have been responsible for 32 years,” Wegener said. “I suggest that my claim will be easier to prove in court than the county’s. Did the county ask me for permission to destroy the canal … did they ask anyone? No, they did not.”

Wegener said the breach in the Logan Island canal in 2009, which resulted in the death of three people, was disastrous. However, he said the current $25 million response to that disaster, the Cache Water Restoration Project, is unreasonable.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Councilwoman Holly Daines said she’s upset about the fact that changes have been made since she signed documents giving her approval. Daines said what she signed involved a boxed culvert along 1500 North.

“We’ve always talked about a box culvert, with a goal that eventually it could perhaps become a public trail – that it would be walkable, flat, and whatever,” Daines said. “I’m now hearing that there is a pipe that will protrude 3-5 feet above the surface in some portions. That’s not what was in the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement), it’s not what the hearings considered, it’s not what I personally voted to support.”

JUB Engineers said changes were made to make the project less impactful and to save money.

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