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  • Tunnel connecting city and county buildings will no longer carry utilities

By Myrna Trauntvein
Times-News Correspondent

There will be no more water flooding through the utilities tunnel connecting the city building and the county building.

That is because the tunnel will no longer carry the utilities connecting the two buildings. Each will have utilities that belong to a single entity instead of a shared use.

Rick Carlton, commission chairman, as one of his commission assignments, has oversight of the buildings and grounds.

“We have now bored a new water line,” said Carlton.”The county and the city each have an independent water line.”

The line was looped into the old line.

In the days when all the buildings were part of the old Juab High School campus, the tunnel between the two buildings made it so that the three separate buildings of the campus were linked and the heating and water lines were carried to each building from the main high school building.

The tunnel provided access for repairs.

However, during the summer of 2016, a water line broke and the basement utility area of the county building was flooded.

It was the Nephi City part of the line that ruptured where it was located under the Old Gym.

“The electric boards and the heating/cooling systems in the basement of the county building were permanently ruined when the county utility room at the building was filled with flood water at that time,” said Carlton.

The line was repaired but not well enough and the basement utility area of the county building flooded a second time.

Carlton said that he and Mike Seely, county administrator, negotiated with Nephi City’s insurance carrier.

“Our county insurance paid for items that the city’s carrier, Utah Local Government’s Trust, did not,” said Mike Seely, county administrator.

The county is insured for loss with the Utah Counties Indemnity Pool.

Seely reported that after he and Carlton talked with the insurance company, they had released $60,000.

“The elevator that services the three floors was made inoperable,” said Carlton.

It was that tunnel that caused all the problems with flooding of the county building in the first place, he said.

The tunnel was a left-over from the days when the Old Gym, once a city recreation center after the former campus buildings were purchased by the city and the county when the high school, now the junior high, was built.

It was the way that utilities were shared between the old high school, the shop and the gym. Eliminating the tunnel would also include moving of the meter.

The former shop building, the newest of the three campus buildings, is now the city building.

The gym is no longer used for recreation but the base floor of the structure is used by the city water department.

“The flood water was just a few inches away from the top of the wall separating the utilities room and the rest of the building,” said Carlton. “If it had run over the top, it would have been a disaster.”

However, now everything was out of the tunnel and the city and county each have their own water meters.4>