The deal is nearly set and payment is expected.
In order for Springville to use the new landfill that Provo is building, each of the city's households may have to pay about $250.That and the money assessed from local businesses would make up the $620,000 fee Provo will require "up front" from Springville to help complete construction of the landfill and transfer station. The total cost of constructing the landfill will be $6.5 million. Work should be complete by August.
And because the cost of using the new landfill will be higher than using the old Springville/Spanish Fork landfill, monthly garbage bills will probably increase from the current rate of $5.75 to about $7.
But no final decisions were made on any landfill-related questions.
"It's the government doing it to us," said Mayor Kenneth Creer at Springville's Tuesday night City Council meeting. He referred to proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations that would require more protective landfill liners and drains than were used at the city's old site.
City officials projected the cost of bringing the old landfill up to expected future EPA standards at $2 million. Councilman Ben Olsen said the cost of handling a ton of trash at Provo's South Utah Valley Solid Waste District landfill would be about the same as processing a ton of trash at a "new and improved" version of the old Springville/Spanish Fork landfill.
"The big difference is the front money," Olsen said. "That difference (between $620,000 and $2 million) suggested maybe we should go with the group."
Part of the reason it would cost so much to bring the old landfill, between Spanish Fork and Springville, up to standards is ground water that creates extra problems. The district site, near Elberta, has little ground water.
Despite the savings in joining the district,"The up-front cost is going to smart," Creer said.
"There's no magical way the money (for the project) will just appear," Olsen added. "You and I will have to pay for it ."
Olsen proposed a special bond or a fee to every household in the city. Household members would have as much as a year to pay, or could stretch payments for several years if they were willing to pay interest. He preferred a one-time assessment to raising the up-front money with a short-term utility rate increase, he said, because temporary rate increases usually end up being permanent.
The assessment for joining the district would be in addition to a permanent rate increase to cover higher costs at the new site.
Council members also discussed their concerns about going into business with "big brother." Since Provo will provide about 73 percent of the landfill's business, Olsen said it would get "a 73 percent voice" in any decisions made. Spanish Fork and Springville will each provide about 12 percent of the landfill's business, and Mapleton and Salem will each provide approximately 1.5 percent.
Creer said any district board of directors decision will take a 75 percent vote, so to defeat Provo, the remaining member cities would have to band together.