University of Utah officials want to know who's going to be responsible for policing the portion of Fort Douglas that will continue to be used by the military. More importantly, they want to know who's going to pay the bill.
About 55 acres of the historic military installation will be turned over to the university later this year. Living quarters on the Army base are expected to be converted to housing for U. faculty and students.The fort's remaining 64 acres are to be used for military reserve activities, including an Army Reserve center, a readiness group and a recruiting office.
The secretary of the Army has asked Gov. Norm Bangerter to accept "legislative jurisdiction" over the entire 119 acres from the federal government.
U. officials told the governor Monday that accepting legislative jurisdiction means the state will be responsible for providing police protection for all of the fort property.
The U. has its own police force, which would patrol the portion of Fort Douglas being turned over to the campus. But the U. isn't interested in extending that protection to the rest of the property for free.
If the university doesn't provide police protection for the entire property, the military would have to turn to the Salt Lake City Police Department for assistance.
Either way, the federal government should pay, U. President Chase Peterson said. "The Army ought to reimburse the city or the campus if they provide security on the reserve portion," Peterson told the governor.
It is estimated that security at Fort Douglas costs the federal government between $25,000 and $30,000 annually, according to U. Vice President for Academic Affairs Walt Gnemi.
The governor asked his staff to talk to Army officials to find out exactly what will be expected of the state if he accepts legislative jurisdiction on behalf of the state.
A letter will then be drafted outlining the state's understanding of the responsibilities that would be assumed and asking if that understanding is acceptable.
Fort Douglas was one of dozens of military bases across the country designated as surplus in 1988. It is surrounded on the U. campus by the Health Sciences Center, main campus and Research Park.