In a draft development agreement forwarded by the developer of a commercial landfill, the Town of Marana would receive a "host fee" of $1.20 per short ton of trash deposited, with quarterly payments made to the town's general fund.
Marana Unified School District would receive a separate payment of 30 cents per short ton, according to the proposal.
Developer DKL Holdings has estimated those payments could total $450,000 a year to the town, and $150,000 a year to the school district.
In the development agreement — still under negotiation with the town — the developer writes that "in light of the unpredictability of the available volumes of waste, number of customers, future laws and regulations and / or the business operations of owner," the town acknowledges "that owner has not made any representations regarding the volume of net tonnage or the amount of any host fees to be paid hereunder."
The draft development agreement touches upon many subjects. It would ban trash hauled by rail, deny hazardous waste, pick up litter along Avra Valley Road from I-10 to the west Marana site, sample downgradient drinking wells at the expense of DKL, and more. Among its provisions:
• Trash would only be delivered along designated truck routes from I-10 at the Avra Valley Road interchange, then along Avra Valley Road to the landfill in west Marana. Hauling would not be allowed along Sanders or Trico roads. "Owner shall establish and shall use commercially reasonable efforts to collect non-compliance charges to encourage haulers to use the designated truck routes," the agreement indicates;
• The owner would not install a rail spur to or on the property. "No waste shall be accepted at the landfill which has, to the knowledge of the owner, been transported by rail," it reads. That provision is intended to calm fears that trash would be hauled long distances from California, or elsewhere, by rail;
• If a landfill is not opened by the 10th anniversary of the agreement, Marana could ask that the property revert to its former zoning classification. "Upon reversion of the property to its former zoning classification and rescinding of the industrial use permit, this agreement shall terminate," it reads;
• If the Federal Aviation Administration requires a study of landfill activity as it affects Marana Regional Airport, the owner would conduct the study at its sole cost and expense;
• No hazardous materials shall be disposed at the landfill. Federal and state definitions of hazardous materials would apply. Only municipal solid waste would be accepted, it reads;
• The owner would appoint a litter control team, ensure that active disposal areas within the landfill are covered at the end of each work day, require that loads of trash be covered and secured, and ban haulers that "chronically violate" requirements to cover loads. Employees would remove litter along the property access drive to Avra Valley Road at least every 30 days, and crews would pick up litter from the Avra Valley Road interchange at I-10 along that road to the property at least every 30 days;
• Every five years, starting with the fifth anniversary of opening, the owner would present a written calculation of the remaining operational life of the landfill. The developer has previously estimated the facility would serve Pima County and southern Pinal County "for more than 50 years;"
• The owner would provide "financial assurances for costs of closure and post-closure care" of the landfill;
• It would enter into the town's habitat conservation plan;
• The owner would dedicate to Marana the open space along the Brawley Wash. The Brawley Wash's east branch would be "restored and returned to a more natural flow area," according to an executive summary of the landfill project. A berm on the property above the Brawley Wash would protect the landfill from the estimated 500-year flood. Permits would require protection from the 100-year event;
• Two free public access days would be established for Marana residents each year. The landfill would accept up to two tons per household in a six-month period on those free days, with limitation to two cars or pick-up trucks filled with trash per household in a six-month period;
• The owner would provide 20 vouchers each year, each good for up to two tons of trash deposited in the landfill free of charge. No commercial dumping would be allowed on a voucher;
• If provided access, DKL would agree to sample the five domestic water wells registered within two miles downgradient from the property at DKL's expense. A background determination of water quality would be established. Sampling would occur according to state standards for drinking water, and on an annual basis if access is permitted, until "owner's sampling of its own test wells on the property indicate no further groundwater contamination from the landfill;"
• A six-foot perimeter fence would be installed in phases as landfill development occurs;
• The owner would pay for improvements to the intersection of Avra Valley Road and the property. Other pavement protection and intersection improvements beyond Avra Valley Road may be contributed by the owner, according to Michael Racy, representing DKL Holdings. A bridge over the Brawley Wash, for example, is being studied to determine if it should be bolstered or replaced;
• The owner would secure a pollution legal liability, environmental impairment or other similar policy of insurance at a value of $20 million. "Such insurance shall remain in force during the remainder of the term of this agreement," the proposal reads, with 10-year reviews of the policy's adequacy. Racy said DKL is "not required to do that," and that the policy would cover any third-party expenses. It is intended "as additional assurance to the town and the community" beyond state requirements, he said.