Before I give a recap of todays meeting, here is the link for the presentation so that you may see what was presented today by Louis Berger and MGT to the Prison Relocation Commission.
First, I would like to say that the outcome of this meeting is incredibly disappointing to me, though it was not entirely unexpected. The question has been asked if Eagle Mountain is now number one on the list. The sites are not being ranked any more but will be taken one by one as their due diligence is completed. Before everyone gets too upset by this recent development, I will tell you that it is premature to get too upset over this development, as irrational as it may seem. I assure you that my frustration level is at an all time high, so I understand that many of you are irritated.
In spite of the other significant tasks we have in front of us as a City, I will be focusing the majority of my time to fighting this prison relocation, and helping the PRC and the consultants to understand the realities of what this would mean for Eagle Mountain’s future. I am holding out some semblance of hope that we will be successful in getting through to the consultants and commission members with information to assist them in understanding why Eagle Mountain will quickly recreate the same issues experienced by Draper, only on a much shorter timeline than it took Draper. In the meantime, City staff will be holding a meeting to discuss our timeline of actions.
The time for drawing a line in the sand and declaring war has not yet come. I have committed to communicating with both the consultants and with the members of the PRC in good faith, and I will fulfill that commitment. On the other hand, my patience in pursuing communication is wearing thin given that there sometimes seems to be no “good faith” effort to gain understanding. There certainly hasn’t been any significant attempt at sharing information both ways, and I hope that this too will be a trend that we see reverse.
The City had created a brief draft report to make a case against our inclusion on the short list, but then I saw a statement in the paper over the weekend that the airport north site would be removed. I withheld the report to see what the outcome of the meeting would be, because it was unlikely that the report would change the course of action of the PRC. It is now clear what arguments need to addressed.
After the meeting today I spoke to Bob Nardi of Louis Berger, and I also spoke to Speaker Elect Hughes about my disagreement with the information presented. Where the consultant believes the total cost of infrastructure will be between 24 and 29 million after building a new road off of Cory B. Wride Memorial Hwy. Our internal calculations place the cost at 55 million without the new road and without calculating gas or electric expenses. I’d say one of us is not in the ballpark. There are many other issues that must be addressed, though the expense for just the water, sewer, stormdrain, and transportation infrastructure would make the EM site more expensive than any other.
At this point the plan is to dissect every piece of the site selection criteria to make sure we understand what the consultants are looking at. We will then schedule a meeting with the consultants and ask that they show us their figures and their reasoning behind the numbers so that we can come to a reasonable understanding of where the discrepancies arise. We will then put together a presentation of key figures which we will present to the public and to the PRC and consultants. We will attempt to engage in meaningful discussion on how the PRC truly believes that Eagle Mountain will offer any benefit to the taxpayers of Utah. Because from where I am sitting, a relocation to Eagle Mountain looks like a monumental waste of taxpayer dollars.