Wastewater future still up in the air for Providence, Nibley

PROVIDENCE – No decision has been made concerning what route Nibley and Providence will take with its wastewater, but Providence Mayor Don Calderwood said one could be made within the next several months.

Calderwood said Providence has options. Six cities – Providence, River Heights, Nibley, North Logan, Smithfield and Hyde Park – currently use Logan’s plant, but that could change. Logan needs a new wastewater facility. Plans for a new $110 million wastewater treatment plant are in the works, but it is unclear which cities are on board to use the new one.

Calderwood said Providence’s first option is to stay with Logan, but city officials are uncomfortable with how Logan wants to manage the new plant. According to Calderwood, if Logan has their way, Logan would own the plant and make all decisions concerning it, giving the six cities no control in the rates they pay or what the money is used for. Some of the excess revenue generated from the residents of the surrounding six cities could go into Logan’s general fund and be spent on things other than wastewater treatment. It’s something that Calderwood doesn’t agree with, but Logan Mayor Craig Petersen said handling the funds that way would be “totally legitimate.”

“We take all the risk for the district,” Petersen said in an interview in May. “We provide the legal scale on that. We provide the public services for that. Some of that money goes to reimburse Logan for costs that we incur for running a wastewater facility.”

Calderwood said the Utah Division of Water Quality has offered Logan a loan to fund the plant. He said the six cities are approaching the Division of Water Quality to see if it would consider an interlocal agreement, one where the loan is split between all cities involved. It would give all equal say in decision making and control of rates.

“They can say no,” Calderwood said. “If they say no, we have a second option.”

That second option is to join with Hyrum’s already-existing plant at the south end of the valley. Hyrum Mayor Stephanie Miller said the city is willing to have Nibley and Providence connect to their plant. She said it wouldn’t affect Hyrum users much.

“It makes sense to come to ours because we’ve already got that and we’ve got plenty of land to be able to expand,” she said.

Calderwood said the three cities are working on a “very detailed engineering study” to determine what the costs would be to form an interlocal agreement with Hyrum and Nibley and connect to the plant. A buyout of Hyrum’s plant would be part of the costs. He said the preliminary numbers don’t appear to be feasible, but it could change. With all the uncertainty involved, Calderwood is at least sure of one thing: Whether the cities stay with Logan or join with Hyrum, rates are likely to go up.

“Its going up from what it is right now no matter how you approach it,” Calderwood said. “It’s what will be the best way for the citizens.”

Calderwood said more meetings will be held and input will be be welcomed from residents to determine what the community wants before final decisions are made.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!