As many of you know, a meeting of the State Prison Relocation Committee was held yesterday at the Capitol. I attended the meeting, along with a large number of Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs residents who are concerned about sites in our area being considered.
The top six sites were announced and both the location on the southern border of Eagle Mountain and in the unincorporated area between Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs were on the list. The Saratoga Springs site was listed as 3rd and the Eagle Mountain site was listed as 5th. The Prison Relocation Commission will continue analyzing the specific considerations of each site and they will have their next meeting on December 22nd. If you would like to see the sites and more information about them, you can click HERE.
In part, I understand why these sites remain on the list, though I believe there are compelling reasons to remove them before the process is complete. If they are not removed from the screening process, it would seem that the legislature is doomed to repeat the same mistakes from our past. At face value, the meteoric growth of both cities represents a bright red flag against placing the prison in either location. My job is now to work a little harder to make sure the PRC sees the red flag before it’s too late.
The PRC has been given it’s orders to relocate the prison, and I know that each member of the committee will act appropriately in carrying out that task. I don’t like that Eagle Mountain or Saratoga Springs have been included on the list. I have to believe that in the preliminary analysis of the sites, we have been included because additional understanding is needed by the PRC and the consultants doing their analysis. While I have been working diligently to help the PRC understand the reality of the situation, it is clear that there is more work to be done. Here is what the PRC needs to know, (you can help tell the story too)
Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs are two of the fastest growing cities in the State of Utah. At times we have both topped national lists of fast growing cities. Eagle Mountain is currently working closely with the Economic Development Corporation of Utah on a project of significance to the State. Of more than 300 projects in EDCU’s pipeline, Eagle Mountain is working on one of the top 5. We will be waiting for the next 60-90 days for a final decision to be made. This project represents a sizeable investment in Utah and would bring new jobs to the state.
Neither of the sites will be far from residential development that has already been planned, nor are they far from existing residential developments. As the focus of the various consultants narrow their field of view, we will have a greater opportunity to give context to those tasked with identifying both strengths and weaknesses of the sites. In the case for both sites close by, we would undoubtedly be duplicating the problems of the Draper Site in short order, and I believe that is entirely avoidable. There is more to come on this story as we move forward, and I will be sure to keep you informed, but for now, don’t wait! Email everyone on this list with your well reasoned concerns, and as always please be courteous.
Jerry Stevenson (Senate-Chair of committee)
Brad Wilson (House-chair of committee)
Karen Mayne (Senate Dist 5)
Evan Vickers (senate Dist 28)
Gregory Hughes (house Dist 51)
Eric Hutchings (house Dist 38)
Mark Wheatley (house Dist 35)
Bryant Howe (assistant director)
Robert Rees (associate general counsel)
Brian Bean (policy analyst)
Sara Thomas (leg secretary)
Mr. Rollin Cook
Executive Director of the UT Dept. of Corrections
no e-mail listed. His secretary’s e-mail is:
Mr. Ron Gordon
Executive Director Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice
Mark Madsen (senate 13)
David Lifferth (house 2)