City leaders don't want Salt Lake County's trash in their front yard.
The problem is, somebody else owns their front yard.The county wants to build a garbage transfer station near the railroad tracks just west of I-15. While the area fronts South Jordan, it belongs to Sandy.
South Jordan officials contend the site would be an eyesore for a new office, hotel and movie complex - a $25 million commercial center near the Towers at South-towne in South Jordan. The mostly residential city needs the tax base. It also needs to be able to attract more businesses to its property that fronts I-15.
"It's difficult to promote economic development in that area if we have a hundred garbage trucks driving by every day," said Keith Snarr, economic development director for South Jordan. "The businessmen are tremendously concerned."
The problem is that Sandy and South Jordan see this area differently.
"We see it as Emerald City - the downtown of a major metropolitan area with retail, office and commercial center," Snarr said.
For Sandy, the area west of the freeway has been planned as their industrial area, which South Jordan says is incompatible with their needs.
Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan said the county is in the beginning steps of submitting information to the city's planning and community development officials. Dolan wants the county commissioners to make a presentation to the City Council before an open house is held about the site.
"I don't see how (the garbage transfer station) will have any impact on South Jordan," Dolan said. "I don't think they know what they're talking about it. It's pretty intrusive of them to assume something in their community for our community."
Salt Lake County wants to build the transfer station as a temporary storage site for county garbage on its way to a Carbon County landfill. The Central Valley Recycling & Transfer Station would be an enclosed facility between 300 West and the railroad tracks and from about 9600 South to 9800 South.
A design and construction contract has already been awarded, but the county has not submitted a special-use permit request to Sandy or held an informational meeting as promised. Nothing has been officially presented to South Jordan.
"We are still putting a lot of the stuff together. It's taken a lot of time to go through the evolution of design work," said Mike Reberg, associate director of public works for Salt Lake County.
Reberg said the the county will take its application to Sandy by the beginning of next month and then hold a public meeting - probably at Sandy City Hall - to get public comment.
"I think people who are opposed to this project are opposed because they don't understand it. They are concerned about traffic and things like smell. Those are all issues we can address. The impacts are minimal. It won't cause the problems people perceive," Reberg said.
The project has been cut by more than half: from 110,000 to 50,000 square feet.
The cut in size won't change the amount of garbage handled at the site. About 100 county trash trucks would visit the center each day in the summer and between 30 and 40 in the winter, Reberg said.
The county owns 20 acres near the site but will have to acquire additional land near the railroad tracks for access.
Dolan said Sandy has made no decisions.
"All we've ever agreed to with the county is we'll listen to their proposal," Dolan said.
With a lawsuit between South Jordan and Sandy over the TransJordan landfill still pending, disposing of solid waste could become more difficult and expensive.
"It's prudent to take a look at this," Dolan said.