After a 21/2-year search, the Provo/Orem Chamber of Commerce has found the perfect plot of land for its new building - land that currently houses Orem's sewage lifting plant.
"From a political and financial standpoint, we are very comfortable with the site," said Steve Densley, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce. "The only problem is the pumping station."The small, triangular lot is at 13th South and Carterville Road, on the Orem side of the Provo/Orem border.
"We had Provo and Orem citizens on the task force, and a major concern was that the building be in a location to serve both cities. This site is perfect. We could even have one front door in Provo and one in Orem, if we wanted."
Densley said there are still many problems to work out. Architects have volunteered to design a building that could make best use of the small, oddly shaped lot, but funding for construction would have to come from the local business community. The chamber must reach an agreement to lease the land from Orem, and parking and landscaping requirements would also call for creative solutions.
But the biggest problem is what to do with Orem's sewage.
"We thought about leaving the pumping station in the basement, but if it ever backed up, it could create some public relations problems for us," Densley said.
Provo will handle Orem's sewage if the cities can agree on payment and if Orem will solve groundwater infiltration problems in the system, Densley said. He said the water table at the site is high, and water leaks into the pipes, adding volume to the sewage. Provo officials say their pipes cannot handle the excessive volume.
But the chamber has cleared the first hurdle, Densley said, in that both cities have agreed, for the time being, to support the project. Orem City Council members this week voted unanimously to tentatively support the project and further research its feasibility.
Densley said the task force considered 50 sites, but decided most were too expensive, too inaccessible or too far from either Provo or Orem.
He said the new building could house a meeting facility to hold 150 to 200 people,"something the business community has needed for a long time."