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BOTH SIDES NOTE PROGRESS IN EASING WATER DISPUTE

Two closed meetings have not resolved conflicts between Central Valley Water Reclamation Facility board members and a third closed session is planned March 16.

But board chairman Gary C. Swensen and board member Jim Davis, an outspoken critic in the past, agree progress is being made.Swensen said board members are preparing a response to a legislative audit released Feb. 21. The audit criticized infighting between individual board members and between some board members and the facility's general manager, Rodney Dahl.

The report said board contention has been present since the consolidated sewer district was formed in 1978. The coalition of seven previously independent sewer districts was mandated by the federal government.

The strained relations escalated in 1988 when a new treatment facility on the old vitro tailings site opened in 1988. Davis has criticized district policy retaining ownership of surrounding property. The South Salt Lake mayor said retained ownership prevents new business development and hurts South Salt Lake because the land remains off property tax rolls.

A former board member criticized management practices and last fall sought Dahl's dismissal for lying to the board about his educational and professional credentials.

Swensen said he believes the audit report validated the majority position on the board that the district is run effectively and efficiently. He agreed with audit findings that the board must improve policy making functions and conduct of board meetings.

Using the closed meetings to resolve personnel problems is the first step, Swensen said.

Davis declined to discuss specifics of the meetings.