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Audit Shines Light on Poor Leadership at Weber-Box Elder Conservation District

A new state audit shows the Weber-Box Elder Conservation District did not address recent groundwater flooding in Ogden effectively.

At the end of June, groundwater flooding began damaging homes in the Douglas-Hiland neighborhood in Ogden. The Weber-Box Elder Conservation district is one of two government entities that provides water to the area. It is their responsibility to determine if the leak was coming from their system, and if so address the problem. But Van Christensen of the Utah State Auditor’s Office says they found that the conservation district didn’t adequately fulfill its role.

“The district’s process was not very effective," he says. "It was somewhat haphazard and unsystematic as far as their approach to detecting the leak. And we think that primarily goes back to, kind of, the district’s governance.”

The audit recommends that the district prepare a better emergency response plan, and help its constituents better understand its role.

Terel Grimley is the district’s General Manager. In response to the audit, Grimley wrote that the audit is not fully accurate and that management was aware of the problem and followed appropriate procedures to locate any leak. He also wrote that the district is reviewing its procedures and is willing to learn from the difficult situation.

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