Atlas site plan now open for public comment
May 17, 2018 | 662 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A public involvement and comment process for the 2018 Community Vision Update at the former Atlas uranium mill site has started and will run through June 15, according to Russ von Koch, chairman of the Site Futures Committee.

The committee will host a workshop in the east room of the Grand Center, located at 182 North 500 West, from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, May 31. At the workshop, committee members will describe the Initial Community Vision completed in 2013, answer questions, and take comments from the public as part of the committee’s effort to update the community vision for the old Atlas mill property.

The Moab Tailings Pile Steering Committee has instructed the committee to update the Initial Community Vision for the mill site property as required every five years by Grand County and Moab City resolutions approving the process.

“The comments submitted in 2013 were an important factor in shaping our vision for the future use of the Atlas Mill Site property,” said von Koch, who was committee chairman during the 2013 effort. “The Initial Community Vision is a statement of intent for the property and supports efforts to obtain additional funding to advance clean-up work at the mill site. Moab and Grand County have experienced a lot of change in the past five years. We also know more about site conditions as they relate to potential future uses. It is time for an update.”

Plans for the site include floodplain areas where only low-cost, repairable uses such as trails would be allowed. Most of the hillside areas above U.S. Route 191 and State Route 279 would be managed to retain scenic value. The existing utility corridors would continue and also be maintained as scenic buffers consistent with utility uses.

A transit center with information and welcome facilities would serve both visitors and residents. A location was also identified to facilitate future passenger rail access to Moab.

Community park type uses would include a multi-purpose outdoor event and performance venue, exercise and educational trails, an overlook, a uranium-era memorial, an informal flexible use “play” area, a boat ramp, and a shallow ice-skating pond. When feasible, parking would be shared with that for the transit and welcome center areas.

A commercial use area would provide services and possibly generate revenue for maintenance of the public use areas. Facilities for vendors would support event and park use.

The 2013 plan also identifies space for a combined federal resource agency office and research facility. This development would potentially reduce agency costs by sharing facilities such as parking, reception areas, and conference rooms. It would also free up existing leased buildings for other uses.

Utility costs would be reduced by separating culinary and irrigation water and also by utilizing site-produced solar energy from buildings. Otherwise, utilities would be arranged working with existing providers.

“While at the present level of funding the site remediation work may continue through 2034, it is not too early to consider future use of the site,” said Lee Shenton, Grand County’s Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action liaison. “It is better to keep moving forward with our planning than wait until the clean-up work is completed.”

To submit comments online for the update, visit moabtailings.org or deliver them to Grand County’s planning office in person, or by mail to the Site Futures Committee, c/o UMTRA Liaison, 125 East Center St., Moab, UT 84532 by June 15.


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