Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) The Utah State Prison in Draper.
Move Utah State Prison? Details and criticism emerge at hearing
Corrections » Prison move plan also triggers debate, meets its first public criticism.
First Published Feb 19 2013 08:54 pm • Last Updated Feb 20 2013 07:46 am

More details — and the first public criticism — of a proposal to relocate the Utah State Prison emerged during a committee hearing Tuesday, where lawmakers were told the project could bring 40,000 jobs and $20 billion in tax revenue over 25 years.

Time ran out before lawmakers could vote on SB72, sponsored by Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, who will bring it back before the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice standing committee later.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

But the committee heard from critics, many wearing "No New Prison!" stickers who said it was a "boondoggle" based on financial promises that were unlikely to materialize while benefiting private developers. Jesse Fruthwirth, with the Salt Lake City Prison Divestment Campaign, likened it to an "Obama stimulus plan."

Jenkins presented a revised version of the bill, which included a fiscal note that estimates the operating budget for the Prison Land Management Authority at $1.7 million over the next two fiscal years. Jenkins told the committee that the current prison is located at the state’s "belly button," a prime location for commercial development.

He said a new prison would cost an estimated $550 million to $600 million — less than suggested previously — and that $17 million to $20 million of that expense would be recouped in reduced labor and other operational costs. A new prison would require 315 fewer employees, according to a handout Jenkins gave the committee.

Deferred maintenance would kick in another $3 million. But the bulk of the funding would come from developing the land. Jenkins said the 690 acres the prison currently occupies is worth $70 million to $90 million, but estimated its value at $140 million once available for development. The bill also dedicates 50 percent of sales and property taxes generated by new development to help pay for demolition of the old prison and building a new one.

Jenkins said he is being "lobbied like crazy" over the proposed composition of a 10-member board that would oversee the project. Indeed, Sen. Pat Jones, D-Hollday, said the lack of diversity on the initial committee that green-lighted the project was a concern.

Sanpete County Commissioner Jon Cox asked that Jenkins make room for representatives from rural Utah on the board. He said a new prison would impact both the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison and county jails that currently contract to house prison inmates.


Twitter: @Brooke4Trib

story continues below

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.