A public hearing on a proposed bond to help finance a hazardous-waste incinerator still will be held Jan. 26, even though the project as proposed may be prohibited by law.
Mayor Rey Lloyd Hatt said Friday that the bonding process was initiated before a special committee submitted a final draft of proposed criteria to the state that would, upon adoption, rule out an incinerator at the proposed site in Green River.The criteria has been passed on to the Utah Department of Health for adoption as recommended by the Bureau of Solid and Hazardous Waste Siting Committee, and Hatt said he is convinced it will pass.
It would kill the project proposed by Denver developer Dean Norris because the site is within five miles of an open waterway, dwellings and other structures.
Norris, president of CoWest Incineration Corp., holds an option on 200 acres of private property along old U.S. 50 and six acres two miles of the Green River and two miles of a residence, Hatt said.
He said Norris' plan is to acquire the land and build the incinerator with money borrowed against $30 million in industrial revenue bonds issued by the city.
"Unless the criteria is changed, he can't build . . . so we're not placing much stock in completing this (bond issue), but we'll go ahead with the meeting," Hatt said.
He said Norris' attorney in Salt Lake City about six weeks ago asked the city to help with financing through a bond issue, before the state committee came out with a final draft of proposed siting criteria.
"I called his attorney, and he said just go ahead with it," Hatt said. "I asked if it was a waste of time. They said probably, but go ahead.
"I don't think Norris has given up for this area."
Hatt said he last talked with Norris about a month ago.
The mayor said Green River could benefit from the bonding process because CoWest would have to make its financial and operating records public.
"We passed an ordinance that any time we sign an inducement (to begin the process), they have to provide detailed records," Hatt said.
"We don't know if we want the hazardous-waste incinerator until we get a complete history, (and) we can't get the information until we have a meeting and sign the letter of inducement," he said.
The CoWest incinerator was originally proposed in fall 1987 for a site in Cisco, 45 miles northeast of Moab. Grand County commissioners created new heavy-zoning that would accommodate the development. But in a referendum election voters voided zoning allowing for hazardous-waste incinerators.
Hatt said Green River is not thumbing its nose at Grand County voters by entertaining the CoWest proposal.