Eight areas in Sevier County have been designated as adequately meeting the waste disposal requirements and criteria for a county landfill, according to Commissioner Jay Gardner. Selecting a new landfill is one of the most important needs in the county and a challenge that is facing the commission.

Commissioners also announced that an improvement project has been initiated at the county fairgrounds in Richfield that will be completed by early summer.On the landfill problem, Gardner promised public meetings will be held to discuss purchasing procedures following evaluation of the areas.

A location near Redmond is high on the priority list, and the community's City Council has suggested the town might be interested in operating the landfill.

The council appointed a special fact-finding committee because some Aurora residents say they haven't known the facts. Linda Chappell, committee chairman, said residents have also voiced concern about how a landfill might affect property values.

Gardner said each site that is being considered has special characteristics that affect eligibility. Three sites appear to be favored over others: the one near Redmond, an abandoned gypsum mine near Sigurd, or in the Willow Creek area.

The Sigurd location would be closer to the central sector of the county, where the majority of the garbage is generated, and a hole has already been dug, Gardner noted. The other two areas are in the north part of the county. Availability of the Willow Creek area is still under study because of possible mineral leases in the area.

Commissioners said the major part of the fairgrounds project is an expansion of the arena that would benefit many riding clubs and lend itself to promotion of the site for future high school rodeos. It will be expanded by 100 feet on the south and 150 feet on the east and west.

Several new barbecue pits are planned, along with general improvements to the fairgrounds. A children's play area was recently constructed near the park.

The budget for the fairgrounds this year was $49,000. About $16,000 is used for building and grounds maintenance.