Comments about ‘In our opinion: Pathway to 'Silicon Slopes' leads through relocation of state prison in Draper’

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Published: Sunday, July 13 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Provo, UT

The tax payers foot the bill.

The rich land developers privatize the profits.


Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA

I would like to see the complex converted into a college or university.

Salt Lake City, UT

The "momentum" for moving the prison was self-induced by those who want to enrich themselves at the public's expense.

Rebuild what is needed on site, there is room.

I have no confidence in this scheme to move the prison "out of the way" of developers. It will cost the state more than is mentioned - Murphy's Law on steroids. The National economy is not that hot, and will not be for a long while until Washington, both parties, get their act together.

If the recommendation is to keep the prison on the Wasatch Front, where is there enough room besides the present location? If there is such a place, build Silicon Slopes there, and save the effort to move the prison. We have telecommuting, Freeways going north and south, east and west to service the utopian dream of developers.

This is not a good idea.

Me thinks the editorial board got this one wrong.

high school fan
Huntington, UT

Freedom fighter
Sounds like a nice slogan but you have nothing to back it up. It really just sounds like you jump to conclusions rather than study an issue.
The article stated that much has to be done but you seem to have the answers even before they do. I favor moving it simply because the facility needs a complete rebuilding and I have found it cheaper to start fresh rather than try to remodel. And if you must rebuild, there are better places to do so.

slc, ut

It would be nice to have the state auditor do a study to lets us know what the true costs of the move will be. I won't hold my breath.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Follow the money.

Of course, we will only be able to follow a huge flood of tax dollars spent to relocate the prison. The huge amounts wasted on transportation of prisoners back and forth for court matters and medical treatment, and massive drops in volunteer support and family visits which aid in the rehabilitation of the small number of prisoners who can be rehabilitated.

We will not see the corporate profits from turning over prime real estate, the hefty consulting fees, lots of legal fees, developer profits and the like.

Just look at some of the shenanigans that took place with the development of TRAX and light rail for cautionary tales of what might (hah!) be in store for us with the prison relocation.

So far, the only numbers that make good sense, or profits, are for the developers, not for the taxpayers.

Leave the prison where it is, and let the silicon slippery slopers build their campus on private land. I understand Robert Redford has a nice area that is pretty much undeveloped.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

What this editorial failed to mention is that the original Sugarhouse location was way too small and the prison had no room to expand. In Draper, there is plenty of room for prison expansion and rebuilds of some structures (not all need to be updated). Unlike the Sugarhouse situation, this one is motivated entirely by land speculation and the desire for taxpayers to foot the bill. The Draper-based Utah Taxpayer Association has been very quiet about this whole boondoggle when they are usually the first to beat the drums anytime taxpayers have to spend a drop more money on anything. Apparently, the Utah Taxpayer Association really doesn't care about the residential taxpayer. They care about the businesses that will get to develop $70 million worth of land at the cost of $1 billion+ to taxpayers. I don't know about you, but when someone says give me 100 dollars and I will give you back 7 dollars and tries to convince me its a good deal, I will say no. But for some reason, people are so partisan that they are conditioned to believe in this type of reasoning without giving it a moments thought.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

On reading the title, I thought it sounds nice in theory but in reality... Freedom fighter hit the nail on the head.

This is Utah where the most vocal lobby is real estate developers or did everyone forget the recent articles about 1) how Urban Utah is & 2) the problems associated w/ the sprawl.

Mike J has a good idea but it will never happen. It won't surprise in the least to see a big sports complex like in KC or Dallas that can be used by the Utes, cougars, jazz, & Bees with the thoughts of luring an MLB or NFL team. But, it would not be complete w/o a... you guessed it... enormous, massive, sprawling, shopping/entertainment district.

Salt Lake City, UT

It's interesting our legislators ignored every report over the last decade showing that moving the prison would cost more than leaving it where it is. But, the developers have been persistent - with an effective PR campaign and putting political contributions into the right hands.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I can't believe the Deseret News is shilling for this --
IMO --They have got it 180 degrees backwards.

Land Developers are supposed to know a good deal when they see it.

So --

If this is such a fine, fantastic, and GOOD idea --
Let the "Land Developers" build the New Prison - First - and at THEIR expense.

Then, we can all sit down and talk about what to do with the OLD prison.

Me thinks - as greedy businessmen -
they see an opportunity to fleece the tax-payers --- AGAIN!

The Deseret News should be ashamed of this...

Provo, UT

@ high school fan

"Sounds like a nice slogan but you have nothing to back it up. It really just sounds like you jump to conclusions rather than study an issue."

This isn't rocket science. Who do you think is behind this? And who do you think is going to pay the $1 billion cost to relocate?

Tax payers are forced to socialize the costs.
Rich land owners get to privatize the profits.

It's that simple.

St George, Utah

DN says there's nothing inevitable about moving the prison. The DN is wrong. There is far to much money to be made by developers, consultants, lawyers, accountants, and financiers on both ends of the deal -- developing the current site and acquiring a new site and building a new prison. Note that I have not included the general tax-paying public as beneficiaries. The move will probably happen now but if not then soon -- five to seven years. And it will be done as most such large projects are done in most places -- socialize the costs, privatize the profits.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

denied? Seriously?

Land Developers are constantly looking for a "good" deal.

If this truly such a "good idea".
Let THEM build the New Prison - at their expense - first.

After that --
THEN we can discuss what to do about the old Prison.

If it is still truly such a "good" idea,
They'd still be willing to go for it.

Other wise,
it's only a "good" idea ONLY because Tax-payers are helping THEM.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

Social the risk, privatize the profits.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

From the beginning, the land has been valued at only about a sixth of the cost of building a new prison.

The developer friends of our Republican legislators will do extremely well out of this deal. Utah taxpayers will be sheared but then thoughtlessly re-elect the shearers just because they have an (R) next to their names.

Hank Pym

re LDS Liberal

"If this truly such a "good idea". Let THEM build the New Prison - at their expense - first."

It'll never work because that isn't the standard MLM/Free Market way here in Zion.

Sandy, UT

I am in the construction industry. It is laughable to say the state can not rebuild on the current site. What about the inmates they say? Leave them there. I have been on projects where we have expanded jails and prisons with less space and the inmates were never moved.

This is all about making select people rich at the expense of the public.

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA

This proposal, in the works for several years now, is not about creating shopping or entertainment districts. It is about advanced technology and development. The southern part of the Salt Lake valley needs a university. A university fits into the burgeoning high tech corridor under development. "Point of the Mountain University" (or "Salt Lake Valley University" or "Utah Mountain University") would complement the University of Utah, Utah Valley University, and Brigham Young University (and Salt Lake Community College and Mountainland Applied Technology College), in this regard. The infrastructure is there for a university. It would integrate well into the high tech corridor. Sure, it may not happen, but it fits a lot better than everything else mentioned in the comments here as likely to happen.

Note, Utah's high tech corridor is one of about two dozen very important high tech centers in the US. The most important, of course, is Silicon Valley in California. The Dulles Technology Corridor, here in Virginia, is also important, as are Research Triangle in North Carolina, Silicon Hills around Austin Texas, and the Denver Tech Center. Utah's is growing and will lead Utah's economy for the next century or more.

Provo, UT

@ Mike Johnson

A better location for another university would be at the north end of the valley at the site of the dirty refineries.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

I don't think this editorial makes the case the moving the prison is essential to creating a high tech industry. These are two different issues and should be looked at separately.

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