Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image Thane Smith of NorthPoint Development, Tooele County Commissioners Kendall Thomas, Tom Tripp, and Shawn Milne, and Josh Romney of the Romney Group break ground in December 2020 for the Lakeview Business Park.

March 8, 2023
Tooele County’s economic plan calls for unified message and collaboration

The Tooele County Council adopted an economic development plan during their Feb. 21 meeting.

The plan is a 241 page document titled “Tooele County Economic Development Plan Key Findings” prepared by The Research Associates, a consulting firm contracted by the county in July 2022 to prepare a county economic development plan for $76,500.

The Research Associates conducted a survey and interviews with people and agencies that live, work, or are active in the Tooele County community to learn about key issues in the community related to economic development.

“Tooele County can benefit from a business retention, expansion, and attraction strategy that focuses on collaboration with local and regional partners and a unified message focused on the County’s growth potential,” states the plan’s key findings.

The survey indicated that residents want the county and cities to work together.

“It [the county’s economic development plan] needs to line up with the cities and the counties, or the city and the county need to get on the same page,” wrote one survey respondent.

The plan goes on to state that while “incentive-driven business attraction,” which has been successful at the Lakeview Business Park, is a powerful tool and such “aggressive attraction strategies” should continue, “retaining and expanding existing business should also remain the forefront of the County’s strategies.”

According to survey respondents, Tooele County’s greatest challenges or barriers to economic development are the lack of water availability, lack of high-paying jobs, and people commuting outside Tooele County for work.

Tooele County’s location — proximity to Salt Lake City and the Wasatch Front and proximity to highways and airports — along with the Tooele Technical College and available land to build on, were most often listed by survey respondents as Tooele County’s strengths.

Tooele County needs to build water infrastructure, actively recruit new businesses, build new roads while focusing on retaining and expanding existing small businesses, according to the economic development plans findings.

“There’s no water district servicing this area. And there is no surface water in Tooele County. And it feels kind of like the wild West out here when we have economic  development projects that have water needs. So to me, getting coordinated around the water situation in Tooele County seems pretty important,” wrote a survey respondent.

When it comes to attracting new business, the plan’s key findings lists four things — businesses that offer better paying jobs; “We’ve got to have something that’s going to pay well enough that people will say ‘I’m going to quit my job in Salt Lake and come work out here in Tooele,” said a survey respondent — businesses that offer more professional opportunities; “More professional people,” said another survey respondent — high-tech business; “The better paying jobs are in that sector. I am unaware of any specific software development company here in Tooele Valley. And we’ve got to start somewhere. So there’s no reason that we couldn’t have those jobs here,” write a respondent, “ and — more dining and retail options; “I just think the demand is getting higher and higher for nicer places that you’d want to go out and take your family to and stuff like that. And then just the shopping around. There’s not really any good clothing store options out here.”

The plan’s unified message will underscore the County’s potential for growth and County residents will benefit from a unified message that emphasizes Tooele County’s growth potential, increased in-county employment opportunities, increased in-county productivity, and in-county income growth, according to the resolution adopting the economic plan as approved by the County Council on Feb. 21.


Tim Gillie

Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim has been writing for the Transcript Bulletin since October 2017. In February 2019 he was named as editor. In addition to being editor, Tim continues to write about Tooele County government, education, business, real estate, housing, politics and the state Legislature.A native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University, Tim became a journalist after a 20 year career with the Boy Scouts of America.

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