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County sets aside cash to help Murray flood victims

Published August 4, 2011 12:33 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Salt Lake County will pour tens of thousands of dollars into a Murray neighborhood that was swamped last month when a sudden storm collapsed a drain pipe and flooded nearly 30 homes.

It's not that the county is taking legal responsibility for the damage; it isn't. Rather, officials say they have a moral obligation to help families who now must shoulder high-dollar repairs.

The county set aside $100,000 for flood victims in Murray's Walden Glen subdivision Tuesday, authorizing grants of up to $2,000 for damaged homes.

"It is important to look at things of this type on a case-by-case basis," Mayor Peter Corroon said. "In this case, I believe offering small grants to help offset unexpected costs is morally the right thing to do."

County Councilman David Wilde, who represents Murray, urged his colleagues to do more. He said the sum will scratch only the surface of the neighborhood's actual need.

"That just isn't enough for residents," he said.

Cheryl Leithead, a homeowner whose cleanup costs will far exceed $2,000, agreed.

"I'm glad that they are doing something, but that is like putting a little Band-Aid on," she said. "Most of our damage is like $16,000 to $30,000."

Council members approved $100,000 in relief Tuesday, but said they will consider additional funding once a damage estimate is complete.

Although the collapsed drain pipe was scheduled for repair, the District Attorney's Office has determined the county is not liable.

jstettler@sltrib.com

Twitter: Stettler_Trib