Depending on how you look at it, either Taylorsville has gained a park and dumped $250,000, or Murray has lost an abandoned dump and gained a quarter of a million dollars.
Either way, it was a win-win situation for both cities last week as the Taylorsville City Council finalized a deal to buy the old 9.5-acre Murray landfill east of 2200 West at about 5000 South.Taylorsville leaders plan to develop the closed landfill as an annex to the adjacent Vista Park, expanding recreation opportunities for neighboring residents.
The Murray City Council, which declared the property surplus last month and put it up for sale, is relieved of the responsibility of an old landfill that is within another city's boundaries.
Murray officials still must sign off on the deal, but are expected to give the landfill sale their blessing at an upcoming council meeting.
As part of the property negotiation, Taylorsville officials agreed to pay the first $105,000 of the cost of installing a passive methane gas collector system that will gather and vent underground methane harmlessly into the air.
If the cost exceeds that amount, Murray and Taylorsville will share any additional environmental mitigation costs on a 50-50 basis.
The underground methane is produced by a mixture of grass clippings and yard debris deposited in the old landfill, which was closed by Murray about eight years ago.
Taylorsville Mayor Janice Auger said the acquisition of the property is a major step forward for Salt Lake County's newest city.
"It's going to make a big difference for Taylorsville," she added. "Everything else we have done so far has been a drop in the bucket."
Taylorsville officials have indicated the high cost of land and lack of large undeveloped areas within the city, which is mostly built out, make it difficult to find affordable park sites in central locations.
City Council members actually voted to buy the property two months ago, but the transaction was delayed while the mayors of both cities negotiated terms.
A June 3 council resolution allocating $250,000 to purchase the ground was adopted unanimously.
Auger said one of the city's top priorities is the acquisition of property for and the development of community parks.
The city is currently negotiating for other park property in other parts of the city, she said.