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Nothing is in writing yet, but Duchesne and Wasatch County commissioners have verbally agreed to a deal to make the neighboring counties partners in the Bluebench landfill.

Duchesne County has offered Wasatch County a 50 percent share in the landfill for $600,000. Under the terms of the buy-in, Wasatch County would participate equally in maintenance costs and equipment purchases. Wasatch County has reportedly accepted the offer."We as a commission determined we wanted this to happen for several reasons," explained Larry Ross, Duchesne County Commission chairman. "The first is to keep our costs down and the second is to have help in assuming liability. Wasatch County has no place to dispose of solid waste, and we as a neighboring county have determined we would work with them."

He said the landfill would continue to be operated by Duchesne County employees, and although the legalities have yet to be formally worked out, it appears operations at the landfill would be administered by a board composed of both Duchesne and Wasatch County commissioners.

The sale would not only give county coffers a $600,000 boost, it would also guarantee approximately $120,000 more a year in revenue through tippage fees charged to Wasatch County.

Wasatch County does not have an approved landfill within its boundaries and for the past year has been using the Bluebench landfill and paying the county a "tippage fee" of $11.10 a ton.

According to Ross, it's unknown how Wasatch County will finance the purchase, but Duchesne County would prefer the total sum upfront rather than arranging a sale based on "long-term payments."

It costs Duchesne County just over $400,000 a year to operate the 409-acre Bluebench landfill. In order to keep up with rising costs associated with new federal and state regulations pertaining to landfill operations, in January Duchesne County raised its tippage fee to $11.10 per ton. The minimum fee at the landfill will be $5.