A rezone request by Logan City officials for a controversial facility in Benson to convert biosolid wastes into agricultural compost has been withdrawn in the face of stiff public opposition.
CACHE COUNTY – The old proverb is apparently wrong. You can fight city hall.
After two nights of heated public outcry to members of the Cache County Planning Commission and the Cache County Council, Logan city officials have withdrawn their rezone request for a proposed regional compositing site in Benson.
Until recently, city officials had been seeking county approval to rezone a city-owned 47-acre parcel of land at 1400 North and 3200 West from agricultural use to public infrastructure. The purpose of that request was to establish a 10-acre site where biosolid waste products from a soon-to-be completed regional water treatment plant can be mixed with green waste to create agricultural compost.
But that idea is now off the table, according to Logan City Council Chair Mark Anderson.
“We were really trying to go with the least expensive site for everyone involved,” Anderson explained. “But it just didn’t work out that way. So, we’ll move to other options.”
Anderson added that the composting site will most likely now be located on city property close to the Logan Landfill.
“Ideally, we’re now hoping to have our green waste facility and composting as close together as possible to reduce transport costs,” the city council chairman said. “I think we’ll find a very appropriate location for the compositing site.
“It’s just going to cost a little bit more if we have to mitigate wetlands or acquire more property … But we’re going to move ahead with the plan because that’s what we need to do for Cache Valley.”
The controversial composting site is critical to the successful operation of a multi-million dollar regional waste water treatment that will be managed by Logan City officials because the plant’s biosolid waste products will be mixed there with green waste to create agricultural compost.
In early March, the members of the Cache County Planning Commission yielded to public pressure from Benson residents by recommending denial of the proposed rezone.
In mid-April, the members of the Cache County Council ducked the controversy by declining to make a decision on the composting site after another heated public hearing.
In the wake of that meeting, city officials attempted to engage county officials in an effort to identify a less controversial location for the composting site. But that effort was met with disinterest, according to Anderson.
“The point that everyone forgets is that the treatment plant is not just to handle Logan’s waste water,” he emphasizes. “It will handle 75 percent of all of the valley’s waste water. It’s truly a regional concern.
“Logan didn’t want to build this facility, but we’re still very excited about it. To be able to take all our waste water and convert it into fresh water that can flow down a stream again, it doesn’t get better than that.
“Then we can take the biosolids from that process and convert them for agricultural uses,” Anderson added. “That‘s like taking something that nobody wants and making it useful again. The technology and the opportunity it presents are very exciting.”