Both newspaper and television reporters were invited by condo owner Garry "Bud" Thomas and Dairy Queen proprietor, Ken Webster, to investigate the issues surrounding the landslide. Neither reporter chose to review this blog, interview the geotechnical scientists involved, or talk to representatives of the condo association board or the other commercial property owners who might have given a more objective slant to the story.
Building M residents were officially notified on July 1, 2011 by the City of St. George to evacuate their units because the building was judged no longer safe to inhabit due to the risk of utility lines breaking as a consequence of the slow moving slide. Four of the twelve units were occupied by full-time residents who were required to find alternative housing. The other eight units are owned by non-residents as vacation or investment properties. Three of the units in "M" were purchased at a deep discount within the last year from foreclosure sales. Purchasers had full disclosure of the landslide issues prior to closing.
Further meetings with those representing the four commercial property owners and the condo HOA were held on July 5th, to discuss a possible cost sharing agreement and to obtain a consensus among owners regarding the implementation of recommendations from the geo-technical engineers to remove ASAP the condemned section of Knights Inn Motel and 1/2 of condo building "L" and place approx. 6,000 tons of dirt at the toe of the slide. The added weight at the bottom of the slide is expected to slow the advancement of the slide. Mr. Webster does not agree with the engineer's recommendations and is objecting to the placement of dirt on the parking lot for fear that it may affect his business. Negotiations will continue with the goal of protecting all property owners involved.
Meanwhile, a more permanent fix is being designed so that construction bids and financing can be obtained to halt the slide and make repairs to the buildings affected.
Links to the news reports are found below:
Channel 2 News report, July 8, 2011
The Spectrum newspaper article of July 2, 2011