Chandler will try to delay expanding a building at the city waste transfer station to save taxpayer dollars while it researches alternatives.
The City Council unanimously voted Thursday to direct the city staff to negotiate with Layton Construction to delay some of the expansion work.
Layton was awarded the $3.4 million contract Oct. 23 to complete the first phase of the expansion, but the council now wants to slow construction until the staff can research alternatives following an outcry by neighbors about the facility.
Councilman Dean Anderson put the item on Thursday’s agenda to avoid unnecessary spending if only a portion of the facilities are built.
"I just wish we had done this six months ago when it first came to council," Councilman Phill Westbrooks said following the vote.
At the Jan. 22 council meeting, Councilwoman Donna Wallace proposed the city research alternatives to the expansion, specifically privatization of the city’s solid waste disposal.
The council unanimously voted to have the staff look into alternatives, but took no action to stop construction already under way because there had not been proper notice before that meeting.
Chandler Municipal Utilities director Dave Siegel updated the council on research about expansion alternatives.
He said the staff is focusing on several different topics, including private transfer stations that could handle the city’s refuse, the city’s existing contract with Butterfield Landfill and compliance issues the city may face hauling waste elsewhere.
Siegel said the staff is working on a rate study that would compare the cost of hauling trash outside the city with moving forward on the expansion. As a part of that research, he said the staff will look into what surrounding cities charge for waste disposal and how much those rates have increased over time.
Siegel said the staff also will research what portion of the planned expansion would not be needed if another alternative is found and how much that would save taxpayers. He said thosenumbers would be included in the rate comparisons.
The staff expects the research of alternatives to be completed within 60 to 90 days.