A Silver Creek assessment area is created
Nearly 20 properties will have sewer available
April 7, 2017
After more than two years of negotiations, sewer lines will soon be extended to the lower Silver Creek neighborhood north of Interstate 80.
Wednesday, the Summit County Council followed the Summit County Health Department's suggestion to form a voluntary assessment district. Nearly 20 properties, including the Bell's Silver Creek service station, agreed to join. Another 17 undeveloped lots and properties with failing septic systems will eventually be required to hook up as well.
"Once we get sewer extended to that area it will allow for expanding sewer up onto the hill into the residential areas," said Rich Bullough, director of the Health Department. "We couldn't do that without this hub in the commercial area. It has taken about two years to get to where we are."
Most of the homes and businesses in the lower Silver Creek area use septic systems to deal with on-site wastewater. At a meeting last month, Bullough suggested the county form the assessment area or consider issuing a building moratorium.
"If anyone were to come in and propose a development right now I would not grant permits for that and that is what has allowed us to get to this point is the fact that Woodside homes came in several years ago and I denied their request for septic," Bullough said. "Those homes were required to hook up to sewer and that is what is allowing this expansion to happen."
The Weber River, which serves water for about 600,000 people along the Wasatch Front, has two primary tributaries in the Silver Creek area — Silver and East Canyon Creeks. Bullough said the Utah Division of Water Quality has identified both as impaired.
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"That is a major reason the state was willing to finance this a zero percent $841,000, 20-year loan and the reason they were willing to do that is because they themselves have identified this area as a critical," Bullough said.
The Division of Drinking Water agreed to extend sewer to the area through an assessment bond, along with a matching grant from the county. The 19 property owners who have signed a waiver will be assessed $1,760 a year.
At the end of the 20 years, a remaining balloon payment will be due because property owners refused to pay more than $1,700. Bullough said, "We are hoping it will be gone by the end of those 20 years because of future development."
"What the council approved last night was an ordinance just for those 19 properties and basically allowing collection of the assessment as soon as construction starts," Bullough said. "Then it will collected on an annual basis and will come with their tax statement and be paid similar to a property tax."
Construction on the project is slated to begin as early as June, Bullough said, depending on the saturation of the ground.
"I just want to thank the council," Bullough said. "They really stepped out on this one and it's a big deal. It's not typical for them to do this and it is a real statement about their commitment to environmental stewardship."
To view the ordinances, go to http://summitcounty.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_04052017-1132?html=true.