Building moratorium partially lifted in Millville

MILLVILLE – After not allowing any new building permits to be issued in Millville over the past 6 months, the Bear River Health Department is now allowing homes to be built again, with a caveat. The moratorium was in place because of elevated nitrate levels in the city’s well, which also affected Providence City’s water system. Earlier in the year, when the moratorium was first instituted, nearly 20 permits were issued to property owners who already had plans to build in the spring and summer. Eight more have been added to a waiting list since those last permits were issued.

In the health department’s board meeting on Tuesday in Brigham City, the moratorium was lifted for minor subdivisions (subdivisions with up to three lots) because they believed Millville was heading in the right direction to address the issues facing their water system.

Earlier this fall, the Millville City Council approved a bond to build a new well and have enough funds set aside to hook residents up to a sewer system. Millville Mayor David Hair said the well will be established at the base of the mountains, above any homes or farms that may contaminate it. He also told the health department that his city is close to making an agreement with Hyrum City to connect to their existing sewer system.

“The fact of working things out with Hyrum City is the big thing,” Mayor Hair said. “We know what we would need to do to go to Logan City. But in talking to Hyrum City, and the fact we can go there, was a big deal to (Bear River Health Department) because we got some answers from Hyrum. The health department wanted that because they didn’t know if we were going to Logan or going to Hyrum.”

The health department will now allow single-use septic tanks to be approved, but homeowners will need to add a dry line so the home can be connected to the sewer once it gets built out. Millville City Recorder Corey Twedt said property owners need to be aware of the consequences of building before the sewer system is established.

“So, new homeowners will be literally flushing money down the toilet because they would have to pay for a new septic tank, only to have it shut off in a year or two.”

The moratorium was causing issues with property owners who planned to build in Millville, and for those who planned to sell land in Millville.

After the health department’s board meeting, Mayor Hair said Millville is waiting on pricing from Hyrum. When he met with their officials, they told him their current system already has the capacity to add Millville.

“I think we can make it work with what we’ve got. To go to Logan City, it would have cost us close to $1.6 million. If we take the portion of (what we are bonding for) and put the line in we need to, and take the other portion to account for future growth is what we’re looking at.

“I don’t know what Hyrum City is going to require for us to actually start to build a new facility or add on to their facility. That’s we need to find out.”

In the meantime, individual property owners can approach the city for a building permit, but any large subdivisions will not be granted permits.

“It’s been like riding on a roller coaster: you’re up and you’re down and you’re up and you’re down, especially when dealing with the state, the public, different entities, engineers. It’s been a job. It’s not what I asked for,” laughed Hair.

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