Major projects in the planning stages for the Monticello area

by Buckley Jensen

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of articles about growth and development in the Monticello area. Last week’s article dealt with projects funded and already under construction. This week we examine projects which are on the drawing boards, but by no means “for sure”.

In a conversation with San Juan County Commission Chairman Bruce Adams talking about the projects listed below, he said: “If this were a month from now, I think I could reveal some things that are truly exciting.”

When one considers what is already in the works, it is hard to imagine that there may be even more exciting projects in the planning stages. A look at what we do know about:

Wind Farm: Wasatch Wind, based in Heber City, has been testing the wind in the Monticello area for the last year. According to Greg Martin, Monticello City Assistant Manager, the results to date have been encouraging.

Wasatch Wind has profitable wind farms in the state now, (including a new project at the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon) and hopes to build a major project near Monticello. Each tower would be over 400 feet tall, and would generate 2.3 megawatts of power.

Wasatch Wind is presently considering a 50 megawatt field. (One megawatt is enough electricity to power approximately 1,000 homes) with a capital outlay of about $75 million.

About 150 men would be employed in the construction phase, and 10-12 permanent positions would be available for monitoring and maintenance thereafter. The project would generate about $500,000 annually in tax revenues for the County.

Water Storage Reservoir in Clay Draw: According to Commissioner Bruce Adams, the Clay Draw site, located about a mile west of the Gordon Reservoir and about 4.5 miles northwest of Monticello, has been core drilled this summer and the results are presently being evaluated by the State. At this time things look favorable.

The hope is that by spring drawings and cost estimates will be available. The project could be about three times as large as Loyd’s Lake, with a capacity of 12,500 acre feet.

A larger dam could be built, but the state contends there is not enough water to justify a larger reservoir. Clay Draw will capture the water from Spring Creek, and city water could be diverted from North Creek for storage in wet years if city reservoirs are filled.

Clay Draw is high enough that water would gravity-flow into the city water system. This project would triple Monticello’s water storage capacity when completed.

New Monticello Airport: Several hundred acres of land on the east side of Highway 191 across from the present airport have been purchased by the City. Plans for a new airport with longer runways to accommodate larger aircraft are in the works.

Aquatic Center: The Monticello Swimming Pool is almost 50 years old. The City has hired GSBS Architects in Salt Lake City to design an Aquatic Center which will include a new swimming pool, a lap pool, a play pool, a suspended walking track for winter walkers and community meeting rooms.

Canyon Country Discovery Center: This joint project by the City and the Four Corners School of Outdoor Education is a $7.5 million project to be built on city property across Highway 191 east from the Hideout Golf Course.

Governor Huntsman visited the site recently and has pledged $3 million in his budget to the Legislature toward the project.

This campus will be educational in nature providing facilities for a variety of school and outdoor education programs. It will also provide meeting space and learning opportunities for the community.

Three Major Subdivisions:

The George Wythe College is planning a 300 unit subdivision on 500 acres just annexed into the City West of Town to provide student and faculty housing in the future.

Paul Sonderegger and Jeff Nielson are planning to develop a large tract of land in the middle of the Hideout Golf Course known as “The Island”.

Buckley Jensen is planning a 240 acre PUD (Planned Unit Development) of 2-5 acre ranches on property two miles south of Monticello. Located west of the highway, it will be known as the The Ranches at Vermillion Meadows and will be part of the overall Vermillion Hills project.

Any one of these three subdivisions would be bigger than anything ever developed in San Juan County.

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
Fax: 435.587.3377
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

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