BRIAN HEAD, Utah – The small resort town of Brian Head is doing some major construction. But the huge hold in the center of town won’t be the next commercial center or residential building; the town is getting a reservoir.
Construction crews are in the process of excavating a nearly six-acre hold adjacent to the town’s park that will become a holding spot for up to forty acre feet of water.
“This will be a fishing pond and recreation pond during the summer and have walking trails, picnic tables, beach areas,” said Brian Head town public works director Tom Stratton.
But while for the town, the reservoir’s use is recreational, it also has a practical purpose, serving as storage for the farmers in Parowan Valley.
“If there is no drought and under normal circumstance, after Labor Day the water will be released to the irrigation company,” said Stratton. “For use down in the fields for additional irrigation.”
The $2.6 million project will hopefully give summer tourists another reason to visit the mountaintop town, something business owner Robby Hartlmaier says can sometimes be difficult to do.
“[It’s the] single biggest improvement to come to Brian Head since the beginning of the resort,” says Hartlmaier. “With a lake like this, and all the different activities in Brian Head, it will start to bring people up here to find and discover Brian Head.”
The town had to purchase water rights in order to divert the point where water is collected and get approval from close to a dozen state and federal agencies. But town officials say it’s an investment that’s worth the wait.
The reservoir is expected to be complete this fall, and will be ready for recreational use by next summer.