North Salt Lake • Officials announced Thursday that the federal government is awarding the city almost $2 million to stabilize the Springhill landslide and help homeowners who live in the area.
The grant is for $1,855,512 and requires a local match of $618,504.
The money will be used to buy and demolish 11 homes, shore up the land and turn the site into an open-space park. Six other homes already have been torn down, three of them in the past year.
The city applied in December for $2.5 million under the FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Competitive Grant Program. Work will begin immediately, North Salt Lake City Manager Barry Edwards said.
Mayor Len Arave said the city will apply for other grants, hold fundraisers and use some park funds to get the matching money.
Residents who attended a news conference on Springhill Circle applauded the announcement.
"It's been a long time coming," said Steve Yeiter, who lives on Springhill Circle. "We're very grateful."
The neighborhood was built decades ago, before geologic studies were required for development. Since 1997, the landslide has split foundations and retaining walls and buckled streets and sidewalks.
The land was shifting between 4 to 6 inches a year at first but picked up speed in recent years, with a Utah Geological Survey showing annual movements of as much as 18 inches in some years.
Homeowner insurance won't cover the damage so Project Springhill was organized several years ago to collect donations. Kevin Eubank, KSL meteorologist and president of the nonprofit El NiÃ±o Foundation, which is overseeing the project, said the group has used $100,000 to help with some relocation and down payment costs for the owners of the six demolished houses.
Eubank said the foundation will continue to seek donations from businesses and individuals to help with the match and to assist homeowners affected by the landslide.
How to help
The nonprofit El NiÃ±o Foundation is collecting donations to assist North Salt Lake residents forced to leave their homes because of irreparable damage from a landslide. Visit elninofoundation.org for more information and to donate.