How will the $40 million in flood mitigation be used?
May 26, 2023, 6:00 AM
(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY — During last week’s Special Session of the Utah Legislature, lawmakers extended the state of emergency issued by Gov. Cox into August. Lawmakers also allocated $40 million for flood mitigation.
How will that money be used? Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic asked that question in a segment of Thursday’s Dave & Dujanovic.
House speaker Brad Wilson (R-Kaysville) joins the show to discuss where that money will be spent.
Dujanovic started the conversation by asking, “But I was surprised that Cottonwood Heights wasn’t able to get its hands on any of that money that the legislature allocated. Break that down for us. Why is that?”
“We do have money set aside for emergencies across the state in a couple of different buckets,” Wilson said. “One is to repair any state roads [or] state assets that get damaged or destroyed. There’s also emergency money that different municipalities can tap into at different times. And that may be a pot they could use.”
Flood mitigation hasn’t been as bad as it could have been
Noriega comments about how fortunate the state has been that the snow hasn’t all come down at once. However, he acknowledges that not everyone has been as lucky.
“But I do wonder, what about the handful of residents that have been affected by this?” he asked. “Is there any money available to them, whether it’s some sort of low-interest loan or something?”
“We don’t have any programs like that at a state level,” Wilson said. “That’s a program that those are things we usually think homeowners are taking care of with their insurance companies.”
Wilson goes on to say that’s a role government hasn’t typically played, and he doesn’t see it changing anytime soon.
Noriega agrees with what Wilson said, generally. However, he says that it’s up to the municipalities to make sure water is draining properly.
“And these are unprecedented times too with the amount of water that’s coming out of the mountains,” Wilson said. “And we’ve done a lot in the last 30 years since the 80s to prepare for today.”
Noriega asked, “Are you afraid it would be too slippery of a slope?”
“I think that’s the question, right?” Wilson said. “What’s the proper role of government in these types of situations? And so, every situation is different.”
Wilson further adds that many times it’s up to the municipalities and the developers to make sure the roads and other projects are working properly.
“State government doesn’t do that,” he said. “That’s not a role the state plays.”
Listen to the entire segment.
Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.