Following months of controversy, Rodney L. Dahl will step down as general manager at the Central Valley Water Reclamation Facility.

The facility's board of directors, which represents seven Salt Lake County sewer districts, will consider a retirement package for Dahl at its Wednesday meeting. The board is also expected to announce Dahl's replacement at the meeting.George Sadowski, board vice chairman, said he will ask board members to make terms of the retirement package public.

"I think the public has the right to know how much this is going to cost them," Sadowski said. "It will really be an eye-opener. When the governor (Bangerter) retires he won't have as sweet of a deal as Rod Dahl.

"I think this will most definitely clear the conflict," Sadowski continued. "I'm very pleased and happy he (Dahl) is leaving.

Dahl's management of the facility, which opened in 1988 after the federal government ordered the seven sewer districts to build a consolidated treatment facility, has been the center of controversy for several months.

The controversy became public in April 1991 after Dahl admitted he misled the board concerning his professional and educational qualifications during a performance evaluation. Dahl apologized publicly to the board, and no further action was taken at that time. However, board members promised to further scrutinize Dahl's performance in a subsequent evaluation.

Controversy boiled to the surface again earlier this year following release of a legislative audit that harshly criticized the board's failure to exert policy control over Dahl's management of the facility. The audit was also critical of long-standing conflict between various board members and the board's inability to resolve conflicts.

The audit recommended using a neutral third party to develop written guidelines and to negotiate a management contract with the general manager. If conflict remained, the audit suggested replacing all seven board members and the general manager and starting anew.

Sadowski, who admitted he has been a Dahl critic, said the board has already screened a replacement for Dahl and will make the selection formal at the Wednesday meeting. He described the new manager as a "very qualified person" who is a professional engineer, who has been involved with sewage treatment for years and is a "great executive" with a corporate background.

"I think the board is regrouping and we will be heading out in a new direction," Sadowski said. "I think we're going to have a more united board and staff."

Sadowski said the board is continuing to review the audit's recommendations and will heed the recommendation to write a definitive management contract for the new general manager.