At the Ririe City Council meeting held Aug. 10, Ririe resident Brent Ferguson went to the council meeting and expressed his frustrations about the water pump that Enterprize Canal put in across from his home fifteen years ago.
According to Ferguson, in 2006, Enterprize Canal made an agreement with the city to get rid of the sub water in Ririe.
“They came down my street on 2 W and they dug a big hole,” said Ferguson. “They had a track hoe down there. This thing was down in there, and I come home one night, and that thing was down in there; that was supposed to collect the water to get the sub water.”
Ferguson stated a lot of the homes in Ririe have sub-water because of the canals near Ririe.
Ferguson mentioned the Army Corps of Engineers had come in a few years ago to discuss the sub-water in the city, and said it wasn’t the Ririe Lake that was putting water in residents homes, but the practices of the canal company; according to Ferguson, the canal company allegedly made the canals smooth instead of adding ridges.
“The city let them put the pump right across the street from my house,” said Ferguson. “They were pumping it into their canal. The water was short, but they wanted the water for their users, which worked out great for us. When it became a disadvantage to their users, they didn’t want to pay for the water to be in their canal. So that is where this is all starting and there’s been discussions with the Enterprize Canal.”
Ferguson stated Darrel Ker, Director of Enterprize Canal, went to a Ririe City Council in 2012 and they were going to turn the pump off, but that’s not what the city said was in the agreement. Ferguson stated that Kerr said he would turn the pump on, but when the canal is out the city would pay to turn the pump on.
“The city doesn’t want to do it anymore and the canal company doesn’t want to do it anymore, but there is still sub-water in Ririe,” said Ferguson. “Every once in a while it will go along fine, but then Enterprise doesn’t want to do it anymore. I’ve lived here the last 25 years in this house, and I’ve still had sub for 25 years.”
Ferguson also mentioned he had a neighbor that had just finished her basement when it was filled with water; she then had to have it repainted, but never refinished it.
Ferguson stated there was a time where he had to pump five gallons of water every hour a few years ago. He said he still pumps sub-water even after living in his home for 25 years.
“We are fighting so that the city and the canal company are following their agreement they made at the beginning,” said Ferguson. “They agreed to take care of the citizens. That’s where we are at right now. I would like to get it solved with the city and the canal company once and for all, but it keeps coming back. Would like the city and the canal company to live up to what they told us they were going to do.”
During the Aug. 10 meeting, Council member Howard Kimmel tabled the Enterprize Canal situation until a future, unspecified meeting, which was unanimously approved.
Ker stated he had not been invited to the meeting on Aug. 10. Ker mentioned Enterprize Canal put in a pump in order to help keep the groundwater table down in 2006.
Kerr stated that in the July 13, 2021 meeting, Ferguson had said Enterprize was going to keep the water out of the basements, but Kerr reaffirmed Enterprize canal owns three pumps that pump water and sub-water out of the community of Ririe.
“We are the only canal that makes an artery to supply water to farmers head-gates more efficient,” said Ker. “We have not asked the city to provide money to put the pump in. When the pump was put in by Ferguson’s house and he was not pleased.”
According to Ker, they do not have an agreement with the City of Ririe, but is open to having a contract with them if they chose to offer one to Enterprize Canal. Ker mentioned there was a verbal agreement from the former mayor and council, but never a written agreement.