Provo • The Central Utah Water Conservancy District may need to find another route to pipe water to Eagle Mountain and southwestern Salt Lake County.
The Utah County Commission on Tuesday chose not to condemn parts of three American Fork-area farms for the North Shore Aqueduct. The commission opted to take no action after the county’s Agricultural Protection Area Advisory Board voted this past week against recommending that the Christensen and Lamph families’ properties be condemned for easements.
Both the agriculture board and the commission had to sign off on condemning property in an agricultural protection zone, said county planner John Ewing.
The project would deliver water from Provo Canyon to Eagle Mountain, Saratoga Springs and the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District.
“We try hard to respect private property rights,” Utah County Commission Chairman Larry Ellertson said after the meeting. “We also try to work to the good of the public interest.”
Commissioner Doug Witney said he wanted to protect farm rights, but “we have to get water up north.”
Allen Christensen, one of the property owners, welcomed the news. He said the pipeline would have damaged his family’s ability to farm the land as it has since Utah’s pioneer days.
Water district officials earlier said that they had met all of Christensen’s engineering concerns, but he was holding out for additional money for the easement on his land.
Christensen insists the issue was never about money, but protecting the land. He said Utah County’s refusal to sign off on the easements means the district would have to find another route for the pipe.
K.C. Shaw, the Central Utah water district’s project manager, said the district will go back and review alternate routes.
In an earlier interview, he said going around the properties would cost more.
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Utah County Commission Vice Chairman Gary Anderson received the Utah County Domestic Violence Coalition’s Purple Ribbon award Tuesday.
Ronda Gates, shelter director for the Center for Women and Children in Crisis, cited Anderson for his work to ensure women fleeing abusive situations did not have to lose their pets.
She said women were forced to either give up their pets to go into the shelter, or stay where they were. She said Anderson made arrangements to have the pets housed at the county animal shelter.
Gates said Anderson also helped make bus passes available for women to reach the shelter.