A Park City man is upset over the handling of a drainage ditch that is eroding onto his property and threatening his home. The ditch in the 6400 block of North East Parkview has been a cause for concern for years, but the city's handling of the situation has fueled a controversy because hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent right across the street from him.
"If I remove the other two or three stumps here, the fence would just fall over," said James Grandstaff as he described the ditch next to his property.
Grandstaff is concerned not only for the erosion battle he faces with the city's property, but also the safety factor of children getting inside and hurting themselves.
"I'm trying to fix up the property," Grandstaff said. "Trying to make it as nice as the rest of the neighborhood, but I feel like I'm going backwards."
You can clearly see the erosion that has taken place at the top of the drainage ditch. Grandstaff wonders why this ditch can't look like the one the city built just across the street, which is a full concrete culvert with retaining walls.
"The best thing that we could do for the long term was to apply asphalt over it," explained Park City Administrator Jack Whitson.
The solution across the street, however, cost $275,000. Whitson says there's simply no money to do the entire ditch that way.
"Unfortunately, we're like most cities right now," Whitson said. "It's a tough time here. The economy is rough and so the governing body has to look after the interest of the citizens and provide the same level of service with less money."
But Grandstaff says, and Whitson agrees, that it would only cost about $12,000 to build a retaining wall on one side and fill it in with dirt.
"If they would put a retaining wall right along this concrete, they could fill it in," Grandstaff said. "I could put my fence up and it would stop it for a long time. This little band aid is gonna go away really quick."
"We felt like that what we did wasn't anything we haven't done before," Whitson countered. "There are other areas of Park City that have the same treatment and people love it. It stopped the erosion."
For now, though, Whitson says the ditch on Grandstaff's side will remain the same for the foreseeable future.