The former municipality of East Layton, Utah was founded with the express purpose of obtaining federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) funds for a water system construction project. East Layton has since merged with Layton.
“The local water supply was unreliable, a common problem in Utah’s desert climate. Wells and streams often ran dry in late summer, and water would have to be hauled to homes by hand. Lifelong resident David Green envisioned a municipal water system supplied from Crooked Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains to the east. By the 1930s many of Green’s neighbors were interested, but Utah’s banks were lending very little money due to the Great Depression. Financing for public works was available through the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), but only to incorporated municipalities. In January 1936, 53 East Layton residents signed a petition to form a town in order to fund the water system. On April 2, 1936, the town of East Layton was incorporated, with David Green as town board president.
In 1937, East Layton voters unanimously supported a bond measure, and the WPA approved the town’s loan application. The money, however, was slow to arrive. Members of the town board contacted Henry H. Blood, a native of Kaysville and then governor of Utah, and asked for help. Blood was able to use his influence to expedite the process, and East Layton’s water project proceeded. David Green was the supervisor, directing a rotating team of laborers whose wages were paid by the WPA. They laid collection pipes from the mouth of Crooked Canyon down to a reservoir on Valley View Drive at the eastern edge of town. A wooden trestle bridged a gorge along the way. Rough terrain made digging difficult, and progress was slow. Costs mounted, and the original money ran out. The state of Utah provided additional support, matching funds for contributions by East Layton families. By the time of completion the WPA had covered about 60% of the expense.”
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on November 28, 2016.
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