Logan City officials will use a ventilated static composting process, shown here, to convert bio-solid waste from the city’s regional water treatment plan to agricultural material at a recently approved municipal composting facility.
LOGAN – The saga of the homeless mud pit in Logan City is finally over.
Thanks to a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) approved by the Logan Planning Commission on June 10, construction is being carried out on 17 acres of urban land next to the city’s regional water treatment plant along Highway 30 west of Logan.
City planner Russ Holly said the new facility will include a green waste drop-off point and an area with aerated static heaps where solid bio-waste will be converted into agricultural compost.
The site will also include a community garden, 1,600-square-foot barn, and landscaped berms for visual buffering from passing motorists and for aesthetic reasons.
During the commission meeting, city officials argued that their new proposed location was ideal for the much-maligned composting facility.
Given that the greatest public concern about the facility was the potential for offensive odors from the composting process, the city plan emphasized that this location was more than a mile from the nearest business or residence within the city limits.
With the composting site also 150 feet from 200 North Street (Hwy 30), city officials said the space will provide ample opportunities to soften the visual impact of the facility through strategic landscaping and surrounding berms.
They also predicted that the community garden would provide residents with a place to mingle and grow produce, while the adjoining barn becomes a local landmark and welcoming entrance into town from the west.
After weeks of public controversy, the CUP for the compositing site was approved by members of the planning commission with minimal effort.
Logan officials had originally applied for county approval to rededicate a city-owned 47 acre property at 1400 North and 3200 West in Benson for the composting facility.
After the idea was condemned by the residents of Benson and rejected by Cache County Council, city officials reluctantly followed the suggestions of many critics that “Logan should build the composting facility in his own backyard.”
The additional cost of following this advice is estimated at $ 1.5 million, according to Logan’s environmental director Issa Hamud.
During a May meeting of Logan City Council, Hamud stated that the proposed location in Benson was chosen because it was the cheapest option for city planners.
The full development of the alternative location next to the sewage treatment plant will ultimately include the weakening of nearby wetlands, he emphasized.
Under the U.S. Clean Water Act, federal agencies require action to reduce the disturbance or destruction of wetlands, streams, or habitats of endangered species.
Such mitigation is usually achieved through the maintenance, improvement, restoration, or creation of wetlands, streams, or protected areas that offset negative effects on similar nearby ecosystems. To serve the public interest, federal agencies often require that the damage control area be up to three times the size of the actual affected area.
With such a three-to-one ratio, Hamud said Logan could potentially be required to defuse up to 15 acres of land at a cost of between $ 1 million and $ 1.5 million.
Given these unexpected costs, Hamud warned that the city may be required to consider increased fees for environmental services from 2022 onwards.