Utah County cities balking at the idea of joining Provo in developing a 640-acre landfill west of Goshen Bay near Elberta may have no choice once strict new Environmental Protection guidelines are implemented, Provo Mayor Joe Jenkins told the Council of Governments this week.
"We're not arrogant about it. On the other hand, if no one wants to come, that's fine too," Jenkins said. He predicted, however, that most existing county landfills won't meet new EPA guidelines and will have to be closed."The determining factor is what the EPA is going to require us to do,"
Jenkins said construction of a maintenance building at Provo's Bayview landfill site will begin soon and that he expects the landfill to be completed this fall at the earliest. Cities in the county that are contemplating joining Provo need to make up their minds, he said, so officials can decide where to locate a transfer station for cities north of Orem.
Provo also needs to know who's going to join the Bayview site in order to design the landfill's "cells."
Jenkins said Provo has obtained necessary permits from the state and from the EPA and has prepared a 50-year master plan for the site.
"We've gone through all the hoops," he said. "But we're certainly not trying to ram anything down anybody's throat."
The Bayview site has received support from Orem City, which passed a resolution in May encouraging cities to work together in solving garbage-disposal problems. Lindon also is looking at the Bayview site in light of Orem's position, Mayor Kenneth McMillan said during Thursday's COG meeting.
McMillan opposes expansion of the Lindon landfill site, which will be full in two years. "We're looking toward Bayview and toward Provo," he said.
Springville Mayor Ken Creer said his city is more inclined to stick with and expand the landfill between Springville and Spanish Fork.
"We're still in the process of studying it," he said. Creer said officials are looking for solutions to high groundwater at the landfill site and will keep the landfill there if possible.
Lehi Mayor George Tripp said he is concerned about costs of hauling garbage from his city to Bayview.
"It seems to me like it would be terribly costly," he said. Tripp suggested construction of two regional landfill sites, Bayview for south county cities and a separate site for northern cities.
Jenkins told the mayors that Provo has addressed nearly all concerns officials from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had regarding the Bayview landfill's impact on church-owned orchards in the area.
"The church will back off," he said. "It now looks like they are not going to fight us in court."
He said the church's biggest concern was with dust created by the landfill. Jenkins said Bayview has its own well and that a holding tank will be built and a water truck will be kept on site to control dust.
"They were very happy with that," he said of his conversation with the church's Presiding Bishopric and church farm director John Creer.
In addition, Jenkins said, Provo agreed to establish a three-man arbitration panel to monitor landfill procedures. He said, however, that further discussions are scheduled to address the church's concern about Provo's plans to turn Bayview into a countywide landfill.