By a 4-1 vote, the City Council has said no to a $2.8 million sewer proposal.

The vote followed an opinion poll conducted by the city that showed 150 residents opposed to the project and 140 in favor.Preliminary planning for the facility had been completed and a financing package developed. The package would have the city receive around $2 million in grants and no-interest loans.

The remainder of the cost would be raised through a revenue bond issue.

The project had the support of Mayor Jerry Hansen. When the issue was put to a vote, Councilman Eddie Cox voted in favor, while council members Kristy Jensen, Reed Mower, Ronald Giles and Alan Sherman cast the four votes in opposition to the project.

They based their opposition on two main contentions: that the facility is not needed since septic tanks and other disposal systems provide adequate disposal and because many residents could not afford the ensuing high monthly fees.

Based on yearly debt payment of $101,885 and a projected 373 service connections, the anticipated monthly cost to each customer would have been about $23.

Proponents of the sewer argued that the city should take advantage of the low cost money now available and that current disposal methods are inadequate, with groundwater a problem in the southwest section of town and some residents now having to rely on methods that need replacement.

Preliminary planning for the system had been completed by Sunrise Engineering. Arrangements had been made with Mt. Pleasant to use that city's lagoon system, which has excess capacity, rather than install a lagoon system below Fairview, as a way of cutting the costs of the proposed system.

This is "a black day in the history of the city of Fairview," said Cox after the vote had been taken. But the other four members of the council disagreed.