The City Council is nearing agreement on a negotiated contract for garbage hauling services with Wasatch Disposal.

The city's contract with Wasatch expired in February, but the company has continued to service the city while negotiating for a five-year pact.The council appeared to reach a consensus on an operating contract with Wasatch at Tuesday's meeting, but put off a formal vote until a final draft of the document is prepared.

As a result of Tuesday's discussions, it appears the contract will include a pass-through provision allowing Wasatch to pass on any fee increases adopted for the county landfill. The city will receive a clause allowing limited renegotiation at the end of three years if it believes there is justification to seek a lower fee paid to the company. Likewise, the negotiation clause would allow the company to seek increases not foreseen in the original contract fee schedule.

The city is also asking for a termination clause that would allow it to cancel the contract if the company fails to meet contract obligations and provisions.

Marty Springer, owner of Wasatch Disposal, said he believes the landfill pass-through clause is needed to protect his interests since those costs are part of the fixed costs of operation. He said he is willing to remain flexible on other aspects of the contract and will agree to reducing planned increases in the fee schedule if his costs do not escalate as projected.

The contract calls for a $3.35 monthly payment for each house served in the first year with moderate increases in the second and third years. Steeper increases are projected for the fourth and fifth years with the final year costing the city about $4.35 per home per month.

It was the fee escalation in the fourth and fifth years that prompted the call for a negotiation clause.

Councilman Ron Twitchell said he is still somewhat concerned that the city is working on a negotiated contract agreement rather than bidding out the contract. He said he can live with the agreement if that is the council's desire but wants a written statement from the company concerning its plans for improving service to the city. He said the city should have something in writing on which to base its future decisions concerning renegotiation or termination.

Springer agreed to that request and also said he will provide a log of all complaints received by his company and the action taken to resolve those complaints.

Mayor Theron B. Hutchings said a final draft of the contract should be ready next week for review and that the council will consider it for final approval at its Aug. 2 meeting.