In order to move forward with grant funding to restore portions of the Weber River near the fairgrounds, Trout Unlimited and the DWR need the Morgan County Council’s nod of approval. The council unanimously gave that nod last week, contingent on the county attorney’s review.
Dawna Zukirmi said grants could help fund a design study that would explain the scope and cost of the project. The county’s willingness to provide in-kind donations such as labor from county employees could improve chances of securing the grant, Zukirmi said.
Although the council will sign a letter of support, many council members made it clear that before the project can commence, all land owners and irrigation companies must approve. Zukirmi agreed.
Still, Councilman Ned Mecham said the enhancements could be years away.
“It will be many, many years before this will take place,” Mecham said. “The thing that scares me is the price tag of $6 million. If the county has to come up with a percent of that, it will take the county many years to come up that kind of money.”
Zukirmi said the $6 million price tag is still very tentative until a design study can clarify.
Councilman Logan Wilde said the project is a good idea for the county.
“The state comits a lot of money to restoration, and people want fishing habitat,” wilde said. “If we don’t have an area for them, they are going to trespass. They are going to keep pushing hard on landowners. We are showing a good faith effort. This is step one in a long-term process.”
“The pressure that is coming from fishermen is going to increase over a period of time,” Councilman Lyle Nelson said. “Landowners need to be part of that discussion.”