The Grand County Council has decided to take another look at joining a coalition that will pool resources on construction of roads and other projects in eastern Utah.
The Seven County Infrastructure Coalition was created earlier this year to study rail links, pipelines and road proposals stretching from Daggett County in the north to San Juan County in the south.
At its meeting in Moab on Tuesday, the council voted 4 to 3 to postpone a final vote on the agreement. Council member Elizabeth Tubbs voted for the delay. She says many residents believe the coalition is mostly intended to facilitate oil and gas development in the Uintah Basin.
Tubbs tells KUER, “They’re people who very strongly, have very strong feelings about the effect that additional oil and gas, or other kinds of mineral extraction, the effect that can have on the environment in this county, the effect that can have on the tourism industry, which is a really large part of our economy here in Grand County.”
The delay will allow the council to hold public meetings to get more citizen input on the coalition. Tubbs expects the issue to come up for a vote again in about a month.
Backers of the coalition say the seven counties would have a stronger voice working together and might be able to benefit directly from owning roads and other transportation facilities.