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That is in line with projections made last year by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, which said extending a high-tech business corridor through the property would create 40,000 jobs and $20 billion in revenue for the state over 25 years.
"Every way you look at this, it makes sense to do it and do it as quickly as we can," said Draper Mayor Troy Walker.
The focus now turns to lawmakers.
Rep. Eric Hutchings, R-Kearns and co-chair of the legislature’s Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, said the PRADA recommendation is likely to get a favorable reception from his colleagues.
"I’m really, really happy with where we’ve gotten to here," he said. "The most interesting thing [about a new prison] is having the ability to affect future capacity needs by really changing the way we deal with people in our society with criminal backgrounds."
But some of those who kept watch over the prison-move debate urged continued vigilance.
"It seems to me that they should sort out the issues surrounding corrections reform before these get subsumed by the relocation and the real estate," said Steve Erickson, of the Citizens Education Project. "At the end of the day, it is easy for those reforms to get pushed aside."
Eric Rumple of the Alliance for a Better Utah, said he was pleased PRADA members acknowledged the importance of criminal justice reform, though greater reliance on county jails is a concern.
"The prison relocation must be accompanied by reforms that will reduce Utah’s prison population," he said.
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