The shareholders of the North Delta Irrigation Company (NDIC) sent a clear message to Delta City Council earlier this month -- they have no desire to be part of the city's trails network.
A city parks, recreation, open space and trails master plan identified a seven-mile segment along the North Delta canal that would connect Cottonwood Park with the Escalante Wildlife Area. Easements would be obtained on individual properties as subdivisions or boundary adjustments come before the city planning department.
But the proposed trail was never discussed with the NDIC. Board president Roy Nelson said NDIC owns those easements, not the property owners.
Additionally, shareholders are concerned about liability, private property rights, property destruction, property values and general misuse of private property. They presented a resolution in opposition to the canal trail at the city council's May 14 work session.
Jolene Nelson, NDIC shareholder, said the canal is not on the edge of their property, as the planner apparently assumed, but runs through the middle of a field that currently contains a bull. On other properties, the canal is adjacent to the residence.
The master plan was prepared by Logan Simpson and adopted by city council after a series of open houses, advisory council meetings and discussions with council and staff. Mark Lee, a NDIC shareholder and a member of the Delta Planning Commission, said he is guilty of not attending any of the hearings, but questioned why the city's consultant didn't designate BLM land for future trail development. Access is readily available to BLM lands in the area, he said.
Mayor Ron Austin said it would be difficult to justify a trail along the North Delta canal with such strong objections from shareholders, and he recommended the master plan be amended. Although no official action could be taken during the work session, council members agreed the North Delta trail should be removed from consideration.