Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

May 26, 2015
Mayor urges citizens to attend PRC meeting

The Utah Prison Relocation Commission’s Open House will be held this Thursday at Grantsville High School from 4-9 p.m. Before that meeting occurs, the Grantsville City Council and I reiterate our opposition to the relocation of the Utah State Prison within Grantsville City or Tooele County.

Grantsville City, along with area municipal leaders, county commissioners, and our state representatives, are unified in opposition to relocating the prison from Draper City.

Thursday’s meeting might be your only opportunity to be heard by the PRC. We strongly encourage you to come to have your questions answered and have your voices heard. You will be allowed to submit written questions for the PRC during a two-hour, moderated panel discussion. Please be courteous and respectful throughout this event.

Our shared concerns with the prison moving to Tooele County, and in particular, Grantsville City, include:

• The proposed site will require Grantsville City to update its wastewater treatment facility at a cost exceeding $100 million, as calculated by AQUA Engineering, Grantsville City’s contracted water engineering firm.

• The proposed site will require Grantsville City to update its culinary water infrastructure at a cost exceeding $15 million, as calculated by AQUA Engineering.

• The proposed site will require Grantsville City to upgrade roads and other transportation-related infrastructure.

All of the infrastructure upgrades stated herein, even if paid for upfront by the state, and there is no guarantee as such, the cost of maintaining the upgrades will fall entirely upon the citizens of Grantsville. The state will not be required to pay any taxes on their improvements or use of the prison property.  None of these costs will be required by Grantsville City without the prison being forced into the community.

In additional costs, the proposed site will require Grantsville City to hire at least six additional facility maintenance employees at a minimum cost of $71,295 per employee per year, totaling $427,794 annually. This cost will only increase each year thereafter.

The proposed site will require Grantsville City to build a new public safety building at a cost of over $3 million. This facility will have annual upkeep and operation costs that will continue each year thereafter.

The proposed site will require Grantsville City to hire no fewer than 10 new public safety officers at a minimum cost of $76,504 per officer per year, totaling $765,045 annually. This cost will only increase each year thereafter.

All of the costs associated with new employee salaries and benefits, and the cost of a public safety building’s upfront cost and long-term maintenance, will fall entirely upon the citizens of Grantsville. The state will not be required to pay any taxes on its improvements or use of the prison property. None of these costs will be required by Grantsville City without the prison being forced into the community.

Lewis, Young, Robertson and Birmingham, an independent municipal financial advisory and consulting firm, was retained by Grantsville City to analyze the potential economic impact of using the proposed site for a non-revenue producing governmental facility like the prison. For purposes of this analysis, LYRB assumed that the prison will be located on 500 acres directly west of the Walmart Distribution Center.

It is anticipated if the land stays in the private sector most of it will develop into commercial and industrial uses with some potential for a multi-family residential component. The value of the additional economic development amounts to $143.9 million by 2054. This development will result in additional property tax, sales tax, franchise tax, corporate and income tax revenues to all governmental entities.

LYRB further projects private development will generate a net benefit of approximately $74.28 million to all taxing entities. If this area of land is removed from tax scrolls it will be a great financial lose to Grantsville City.

While members of the Utah Legislature continue with the rhetoric that relocating the prison will be an economic boon for the state, it will be nothing but a burden and never-ending debt for Utah citizens living in Tooele Valley. These same members of the Legislature continually balk at the actions of our federal government, which they proclaim to be “federal overstep” into state affairs, and its passing of unfunded mandates forced upon them as “tyranny” and an injustice by government “run amuck.” It appears our state’s government has learned from the best.

The Grantsville City Council and I encourage all citizens of Tooele County to attend and make their voices heard!

 

Mayor Brent Marshall

Councilman Scott Stice

Councilman Mike Johnson

Councilman Tom Tripp

Councilman Mike Colson

Councilman Neil Critchlow

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