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Drought?

In one of the worst dry seasons

Josh Nichols

While most problems across the state are due to a lack of water this summer, Maybell residents are complaining that there is too much water in their community.

It’s in the ditches, in their yards and even in their basements.

About 30 people stuffed themselves into the Maybell Community Center Monday night for a Moffat County commissioners meeting scheduled to address the concerns of Maybell residents.

The commissioners and residents discussed how to seek grant money for the Maybell Roping Arena, Maybell Library funding and planned a budget workshop for local residents.

But the burning issue on the minds of most in attendance was put off until the end of the meeting it was what to do about the drainage problems in the tiny town of 80.

Maybell resident Sherrie Johnson said her yard and basement has had water in it all summer.

“This is all happening during the worst drought that we have ever had,” she said. “We want to know what we can do as homeowners to solve the problem.”

While the exact reason residents’ water problems was not identified, some speculation was made that it was a result of the Maybell Ditch running through town.

The Maybell Ditch has been used for decades to supply farmers with irrigation water for their fields.

“We realize that ditch is the lifeline of this county,” Johnson said. “We need that ditch because if we don’t have water, we don’t have anything. We just don’t want water flowing through our basement.”

Moffat County Commissioner T. Wright Dickinson pointed out that Maybell is built at the base of sand dunes and the community experiences run-off from that.

But local residents said that did not explain the recent increase in water flowing into their homes.

Dickinson suggested the residents discuss the issue with the Maybell Ditch Company.

“It think Maybell Ditch and the people of Maybell need to sit down and solve the problem,” Dickinson said. “I say we take a serious look at getting some professionals in

here and developing a drainage plan.”

There is only so much the county can do to assist, Dickinson said.

“As a county we have an obligation to help you with your streets but we don’t have an obligation to spend money to help you solve your drainage problem,” he said.

Commissioner Les Hampton suggested the formation of a Maybell Water Task Force that would bring its concerns to Public Works Director Rich Anderson.

“What I need to do and what we need to do is find the reason and extent of the problem,” Anderson said.

Anderson said he would then assist the task force in contacting the proper agency to deal with the problem whether it be the ditch company, county or state.

A sign-up sheet was passed around Monday for the task force.

Johnson said she thought it was a good idea.

“We just need some help so we can begin moving in the right direction,” she said.


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