Orem city officials want to share water with the tiny neighboring city of Lindon, but they also want to share the costs.
Introducing the interlocal agreement proposed between Lindon City and Orem to allow the cities to share usage in an emergency, Richard Manning, director of public works, said the agreement would benefit Orem more than Lindon.Under the agreement, when either city experiences a water emergency - other than drought - it can get water from the other city through the connection.
After 72 continuous hours or more than 144 hours in a calendar year, the cities will negotiate for more water.
The contract is for a 50-year term, and either city can refuse to share if simultaneous emergencies exist.
Manning said Orem initiated the proposal because Lindon has a more than adequate amount of culinary water, and it would be in Orem's best interest to prepare for whatever emergency might arise. He explained that the agreement has been more than a year in the making.
Lindon approved the agreement during its July council session.
Under the proposal Orem would bear the cost of putting in the connection apparatus - approximately $9,300 - and the cities would share the costs of maintenance. No charge would be made to either city for water used during a share period.
City councilmen Timothy Christensen and Steve Heinz raised objections to Orem bearing the entire initial cost.
"Why do we pay to install it?" asked Christensen. "We seem to do that quite a bit. We're always the bigger city with the money."
Heinz said Lindon could be asked to pay half or "at least consider looking at providing compensation somewhere down the road."
Manning said because Orem asked for the connection, it seemed appropriate to pay for it. He said money to pay for the connection is already in the budget.
"We stand to gain and we ought to go ahead," said Councilman Kelvin Clayton, who amended his motion to include asking Lindon officials about future compensation.