The state’s prison relocation commission has voted to move forward with further assessment of six sites located in Salt Lake, Utah, and Tooele Counties.
The six sites represent the locations that received the best rankings after an initial assessment of 26 locations. Three of them are located in Salt Lake County, two in Utah County, and one in Tooele County. Of the three in Salt Lake County, two are located within Salt Lake City boundaries and city leaders are already voicing their opposition. Jill Love is the Deputy Chief of Staff for Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker. She says they’re concerned about a number of issues, and not just the stigma of the prison itself.
“There are wetlands out there. It would inhibit the future growth of the airport. There are geological concerns and our infrastructure costs are significant.”
Salt Lake City isn’t the only location with concerns either. The crowd at Wednesday’s meeting was filled with people from Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain who are against moving it to their cities.
But commission co-chair, Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R - Layton, says this is by no means a final list.
“Maybe we don’t have the best site yet," he says. "And if someone proposes that we would step back and start through that process and take a look.”
The commission will now do further assessments of these six finalists. Stevenson says they don’t expect to have a final recommendation for the legislature before the 2015 session ends in March.