Excavation of the South Utah Valley Solid Waste Landfill will soon be under way, now that the Provo City Council has appropriated almost $2.7 million to develop the landfill.

In Tuesday's council meeting, members voted to transfer $2.65 million from the sanitation operating fund to the general capital improvement proj-ects fund for continued development.That amount comes from funds set aside for landfill construction that have accumulated in the past few years, Mayor Joe Jenkins said.

The appropriation accounts for most of Provo's share in the landfill project. The city's share of the pie is approximately $3.8 million because Provo expects to contribute about 73 percent of the ref-use to the landfill.

Total cost for development of the landfill will be about $6.5 million. The other cities involved in the landfill district - Spanish Fork, Springville, Salem and Mapleton - will each pay a percentage of the pie.

A well has already been drilled at the site, and a road, a water tank and maintenance shed have been constructed. Cell construction is the final stage before the landfill can open.

Jenkins said excavation of the cells sets the rec-ord for the largest excavation project in Utah County. In 120 days, a million cubic yards of dirt will be taken out to make room for garbage in the first stage of the first cell. The cell is 12 acres wide with an average depth of 35 feet.

Most of the soil will be used to build berms around the landfill for visual barriers.

The H.E. Davis Co. awarded the bid for the first cell construction at $790,000 - $10,000 less than what the city had expected to pay. Jenkins said the competitive bid came because the excavation is a good winter project for construction companies looking for work.

Provo City spearheaded the idea for a new landfill because the city's current facility is at capacity. City officials have encouraged other cities to join in and share costs in the landfill, which will be constructed to meet Environmental Protection Agency requirements.

The landfill is southwest of Utah Lake, 51/2 miles north of Elberta, with a transfer station between Provo and Spanish Fork.