Utah prison relocation: Boondoggle or economic boon?

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  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Feb. 24, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    They had thier chance to have moved it years ago to a really good location but instead chose to make another big mistake and create the bottle neck community of Eagle Mountain and create an even bigger logistical nightmare...So what will be the new direction this boondoggle will now head into.

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 3:44 a.m.

    Moving the prison will be one of the biggest boondoggles in Utah's history. It will face all the cost multipliers, litigation,regulation, epa, osha,cost overuns. It will be Utah's medicare just as Lyndon Johnson predicted medicare would cost x amount the costs escalated by 7 times. Relocating the prison has the same potential. It has the potential for benefiting real estate developers and shackling Utah citizens with never ending costs. Buildings do wear out and they could be razed and new ones built at the same location. We know the costs at the point of the mountain but do we really know from this hand selected or perhaps partisan group of lets build a new prison zealots? Due dilligece, accurate information,and not public financing,private profit.

  • Willie deG CALGARY, 00
    Feb. 20, 2013 10:04 p.m.

    Why don't they keep the prison where it is and embark on a modernization of the old buildings if practical or build a new building with more floors to increase capacity without increasing the foot print, then demolish the oldest buildings and build new ones with more floors again for more capacity. In my humble opinion the prison should not be moved. If it is the taxpayers will be stuck with some huge bills while some developers will reap a windfall, unless the government acts as the developer so the profits accrue to the state.

  • Rawhide Kid Sevier County, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:21 p.m.

    That's what they need to sell the state land & have more urbanization and pollution. I have no problem moving the prison, but the existing land should be leased out for agriculture to feed the urbanites. Remember 1983 when the land slides blocked Hgw. 6 and the Railroad thru Spanish
    Fork cyn. Commerece was shut down for about a year. If that had been the only food source the city folks would parish. Also remember the blockaid of Berlin. Food had to be flown in to the city. Natural disasters do happen. The prison property should be used to feed the folks, and prevent further pollution.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 7:57 p.m.

    Developing 600 acres is going to bring $20 Billion to the State? Really? That's funny. The land is only worth $140 million but will bring in $20 Billion. That's funny.

    Must be magic land. The State should not get into the development business. The private sector has a hard time getting this right. The State will have a harder time.

    There are plenty of other 600 acre parcels in Salt Lake County and Utah County. Of course, the hand picked committee recommends moving the prison. That's why they were picked.

    What of the social costs of prisoners far removed from family and friends? What of prison employees having to commute long distances or move.

    The point of the Mountain is congested already. The air quality in the valley is bad. More buildings in a bad airshed is bad business. On a bad day its a parking lot. On a good day its congested.

    Of course this is already a done deal. So why bother discussing it?

  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 5:54 p.m.

    i am retired from corrections. the state would save money on maintenance as most of the prison is falling apart.. inmates do not have to be transported physically to court. gunnison uses video for many of their proceedings.. this is a big decision.. hope they think of all the angles before jumping in with both feet..

  • Missourian Fulton, MO
    Feb. 20, 2013 5:28 p.m.

    The ake of of the proposed committee is a conflict of interest. Board of corrections? Who wouldn't want "new digs" (just not in Juab county). Economic committee? What are they getting paid to do? That is too easy. Real Estate? Not lining their pockets, how do you propose that they do that. Fox and hen house hmmmm heard that before.
    1600 Volunteers? not outside of the current location.
    Back to the drawing board on this one. Another scheme to increase taxes.
    When Hill Air Force Base is closed it may make sense to move it there. Pleanty of people to provide volunteers and a ready work force. Benefit Utah loses one of the Federal government shackles.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 5:17 p.m.

    Schools wear out and get replaced. So do government buildings. How many new city halls have been built in the last decade in Utah?

    News for the anti's-----prison's wear out, too. Utah's is so old it costs tons to maintain it. But that's ok---it's just convicts anyway, right?

    I just hope they use good reasoning power and not politics as to where a new facility ought to be built.

  • utah cornhusker NORFOLK, NE
    Feb. 20, 2013 4:31 p.m.

    I lived several years in Utah. I think there are people that are in there just for their own gain. If it isn't advantageous for the state and the taxpayers have to fit the bill than I don't think it should be relocated. All if the correctional facilities here in Nebraska are located in Omaha and Lincoln or very close to them and I think it is where they should be located. Lincoln is home to the pen and it has been the same pen I can remember. Never been moved and there are no plans to move it. The only change is the hardened ones eg death row go to Tecumseh and the woman's reformatory is in York but not far from Lincoln. If our governor even suggested moving it id write him and express my feelings.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    Allen #2:

    Antelope Island is a Utah State Park. Good luck in getting the state to close that for a prison! I will not happen.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    @ "dalefarr" You "hit the nail right on the head" You're exactly right with your comments.

    The way I see the "bigshots" getting their piece of the pie is this: The legislators won't EXACTLY make the money themselves, rather they'll tell their "brother-in-law" or their "second cousin twice removed" as to the location of the new prison. Then, obviously the "brother-in-law" buys up all the real estate surrounding the new prison.

    The legislator has "insulated" himself.
    I agree with "cjb" - put out requests to bid on selling the existing property, see if ANY private developer will pay what it costs for a new prison to be built. If not forget the whole scheme.

    I won't even begin to speculate how much payola will be involved in building the (potential) new prison vis-a-vis the construction/development companies!

    As someone else already said "Private profits, public financing".

    The Utah way!

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 2:29 p.m.

    Move the prisoners but leave it empty. Develop it like Alcatraz. Wouldn't be suprised if it's haunted like it.

  • L Central, Utah
    Feb. 20, 2013 2:18 p.m.

    Well here is an idea to include IF there is a decision to re-locate. Land sales (by the State) to actual land user with no developer, middle-men etc. Due dilligence requirements that the proposed business must be operating within a specified operating time with a given number of employees (like on some economic development deals.)

    ALSO the State would retain a first option to buy-back the land at the price it was sold for if the purchaser was to cease. Development of the land, such as roads would remain with the land, buildings could be removed or a price negoiated for them.

    All planning and zoning for the future use of the prison land should be completed before the final decision was made. All plans for the new prison would b complete so new construction costs would be accurate before the final decision is made. This would include options, access, power to the new prison site.

    Given all this you could start deciding if it would be a "good deal" for the citizens of Utah and all factors such as miles for visitation, staffing etc. could be considered !

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    I can hear it now. No prison anywhere near my neighborhood. A prison nearby would lower my property values. I have worked in corrections. Everytime we tried to build a community correctional center the neighborhood opposed it. There is a not suitable location in the state that would not face bitter opposition. It will happen. Communities will be divided. I have no doubt.

  • Wasatch Al South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    Didn't we go through this earlier with FrontRunner land? It seems legislators and their buddies benefit from the land deals while taxpayers take the chances. Check and see if the same legislators are all over this again.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 2:00 p.m.

    I guess we never need to make a formal study regarding a major project for the state. Just put an article in the newspaper and the comments will give you a factual analysis of why we shouldn't even consider it.

    I agree that in a project like this there is cause for concern. But when you consider what it costs to operate the state's correctional facilities I think it is worth looking into options that could help reduce those costs while upgrading facilities. Lets get the facts before we come to any conclusions.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 1:32 p.m.

    Oh, you cynical people. I think this is an idea whose time has come. That real estate is too valuable for other things to continue to be used for an outdated, run down prison. The market is the best determinant of what is the best use for the property. The city has moved south until it surrounds the prison and it is no longer the best use of the land. I say let the state sell it and get the proceeds. Let developers come in and turn it into a more attractive, productive location.

    Honestly, some people see evil in everything.

  • jrgl CEDAR CITY, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    What about the current prison employees who now work for the prison? How will this affect them? Would they want to relocate? There is also the issue of the many volunteers that come to the prison to provide their time to help who live in the SLC area. I also think this will be a problem for medical treatment for prisoners who receive care at the U Medical Center.
    It just doesn't make sense for the state to do this now when they the legislature is screaming that there isn't any money to fund the government that is in place now. It's good the state isn't thinking of privatizing the prison, other states that thought that would save money are finding it isn't the case. Will this be like some of the other departments in the state who have a few at the top who profit from the sale? Think UTA or Dept. of Transportation. The prison move shouldn't be fast tracked!

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    I'm sure that Ellis Ivory and Terry Diehl are way on board with this proposal. I'm sure Draper City is too. I see $$$ signs.

    A new prison would cost billions. The state won't get that for that land the prison currently sits on.

    I say keep it where it is. BTW Phoenix has a major prison right on the I-17 corridor just north of town. Same with Las Vegas along 1-15. San Quenton is in Marin County surrounded by all kinds of swanky development. They are not moving San Quenton time soon. Also the Wyoming State Prison is right in Rawlings.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    Who is going to pay to relocate all of the employees? Will they be given a home-purchase option to help them sell the homes they currently live in or will the employees be treated as just a commodity?

    Since prison guards aren't well known for being wealthy and I'm going to assume that most of their spouses work in the local community, will any kind of job assistance be offered to spouses of employees? Who will pay for the new schools to house the children of the employees? Who will pay for the infrasructure of the new community that will have to be built?

    There's more to moving the prison than just moving the prison.

  • Bruce Angleton, TX
    Feb. 20, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    Utah, the land of multi-level marketing scams and crony capitalism. Republicans in Utah are quick to criticize Obama all the while electing an AG with very sketchy ethics. That is what you get when you have one party to choose from.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Feb. 20, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    Here in Utah we used to value open land and undeveloped areas. Now, if there is a dollar to be made people will develop the land. It is really sad, but nearly every square inch of the salt lake valley will be developed soon. Moving the prison is a rediculous idea that will only make the developers and local officials rich. The rest of us get to pay for their huge salaries. What a joke

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 10:03 a.m.

    I would believe that Riverton, Utah has benefitted by $100Ms of dollars over the years due to the hotels, jobs, service industries and other jobs and benefits from having such a large institution in their back yard. People since the early 1950s knew the prison was in their area when they moved in and long term families at that time would be older than 60 and have adapted to that facility, even though it expands on its 600 plus acres due to more programs. The related industries would then move to another location and for some that would be a cost. The newer facilities would probably be better but the prison has updated along the line due to mandatory requirements the federal and state have forced into security and other statutes.

    In 50 or 60 years, the new area will have to deal with similar issues but the new Sugar House in Riverton and Draper and Lehi will also have to deal with new issues such as gated communities, seniors and their lifestyle changes, nursing homes and retirement centers and other mundane items including cemeteries, etc. Life goes on.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 20, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    Another fast track piece of legislation to benefit a few republican cronies. The ecnonomic projections are fairy tales. If they were correct, the private sector would be coming up with the funds. It isn't and won't. The hits just keep on coming, relocate the prison, attorney general John Swallow, nuclear power plant unable to attract private capital, pipeline to St George that can't be done without statewide taxes subsidizing the project, $13 million paid to a losing UDOT bidder, an expensive UTA system with declining ridership but with well paid executives, the hacking of medicare and ss info, because someone forgot to shut off the system; and a college drop out Governor.

  • D-Ruck Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    PH: Your answer: Many, many many. I know you're trying to make a point, but it backfires on you when you don't research the answer to your rhetorical question before you ask it. Look it up. There are tons of cities (much bigger than Draper) that have prisons plopped in the middle of them. Did you not read about the high rise in Chicago recently? Not been to Vegas in your lifetime? What about Baltimore? Sorry to break the news, but that argument is hosed.

  • PH Riverton, Utah
    Feb. 20, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    How many major metropolitan areas have a state prison literally in the middle of it? It's a great idea for our community (all of the Wasatch Front) to move the prison. Let's move it to a location that is as close to the Wasatch Front as possible but not in the community.

    Feb. 20, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    optic yellow: Excellent suggestion. However, Antelope Island would be a better choice since there is already a connecting road access and it would be close to both Ogden and West Valley.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    Fitness asks: "I wonder how the State Bar will feel about their attorneys making a 2 hr. drive to Skull Valley or Delta to confer with their clients?"

    I have an answer for that: They will LOVE it because they will be able to charge for their time just as they usually do now.

  • dustmagnet heber city, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:45 a.m.

    If they do this - mandate that any development of the property is non-polluting (electric heat, etc)

  • optic yellow Ogden, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    Another project for the Gov's buddies to make money.

    If we are going to do it... let's build it on Fremont Island in the middle of the GSL. This would provide proximity to population for visitation (family and counsel) , two hospitals in the Ogden area, and geographic security features.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    The Governor wants to wait as a developer so he won't have a conflict of interest in the point of the mountain territory that crosses Salt Lake and Utah counties. Sugar House is a small area compared to the access to the I-15 corridor and visibility the prison area has with affiliated government facilities and property in the area that would probably be relocated also due to the prison requirements changing with other agencies.

    Other counties have taken advantage of the lack of facilities for prisoners and built their jails to house offenders of the law and gain rental property and tax advantages with their county jail and services for related transportation, food, laundry, clinical workers, etc. that would then go to the Tooele county facility where it would most likely be located. Tooele will have chemical, nuclear and ordinary waste to store, handle and destroy over millions of years. The prison will be closer to the $100,000,000 race track for diversionary activity for people that visit the prison close to other distribution points in the area.

    The old prison land will become the new setting sun vice daybreak for many senior citizens in the future.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    @Fitness Freak

    "I wonder how the State Bar will feel about their attorneys making a 2 hr. drive to Skull Valley or Delta to confer with their clients?"

    I can answer this one. The answer is, the state bar won't care because those two hour drives are billable hours.

  • mightyhunterhaha Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:23 a.m.

    The savings in operating costs are a shame. The cost to transport offenders will increase. The difficuly in finding professionals in rural areas will result in the need to contract services which may look like a cost savings but if you look at other states it becomes a bait and switch and costs increase. the problem is once you've made the switch you can not go back without it even cost more. The Leg. will pretend in the long run to listen to citizens but they will make the move regardless of any oposition. They do what is good for them and not for the State. Some one is getting thier pockets lined and it will be with 14K gold thread. St. George, Tremonton, Delta, Bluff get ready to pay more taxes for Draper City to get their way and have the prison moved.

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    This is all about making a handful of the very connected very rich. Not to worry, the rest of us will foot the bill.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 6:25 a.m.

    If that land is so valuable, sell it to private industry to the highest bidder if the proceeds are high enough to pay for the prison move.

    Remember UTOPIA who promised the moon but private industry was unwilling to fund it and a lot of municipalities got stuck holding the bag?

    Lets be smarter this time around.

  • E & EE Ann arbor, MI
    Feb. 20, 2013 6:20 a.m.

    Apparently I'm the only one who thinks this is a good idea.

    The fact is the prison is currently located in a prime area especially for technology companies. STEM jobs are where the future is (not manufacturing) and Utah needs to do what it can to let those kinds of jobs develop by maximizing the opportunity.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 5:33 a.m.

    I've always felt the prison was in a strange location.

    If you want it closer to the families of the people that contribute the most folks, it should be split into West Valley Prison, and Ogden Prison. Right now it's far too close to Provo to be of any use to family members that have inmates.

    That whole area of realestate is going bonkers right now. I can see why the state would want to move it to some strip of land with less upside potential.

  • UTAH Bill Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 3:22 a.m.

    It's obvious which way this is going - regardless of the impact to Utah taxpayers. A few developers and cities will gain substantially, while the rest of the state subsidizes that enrichment.

  • Jbnt0344 Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 8:58 p.m.

    In my opinion do not move the prison and do not continue the so called tradition of Utah Government leaders indulging in their pet projects that make a few individuals alot of money but leave the taxpayers footing the bill for years to come. It's a recession out there and we don't need to spend even more money moving a prison. Expand it if you will on the current property and stop wasting taxpayer money and stop catering to special interest groups. If you want to do something, work on reducing crime and reducing ridiculously high amounts of regular violence in public schools and make the school districts less costly and the school administrators more accountable and that would reduce some of the number of felons in prison.

  • CentralUtah Alpine, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 8:56 p.m.

    Let's see who within government buys land with inside information and makes a fortune on the real estate deal.

    For years the recommendation was to keep it close to population centers so families could visit inmates...without that there is little chance of rehabilitation.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 8:41 p.m.

    This is goofy on so many levels its hard to know where to begin.

    Prisoners commonly must be transported to court hearings, yes, even AFTER they've been convicted. How much is it going to cost the state to drive them from, say, Delta?

    They also routinely have to be taken to Umed for medical situations. Do we use one of Umeds helicopters at 25k per ride? Or have them ride in an ambulance for 2 hrs.?

    How about the employees who work at the prison? Will they all be moving to Skull Valley (or Delta)in order to continue their employment?

    Whenever "spare land", "developers" and "Utah legislature" is used in the same paragraph, Utah residents SHOULD be very concerned.

    I wonder how the State Bar will feel about their attorneys making a 2 hr. drive to Skull Valley or Delta to confer with their clients?

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 8:37 p.m.

    I'm sure for some of the real estate developers in the legislature this will boon, as for the rest of us...

  • Rock Of The Marne Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 19, 2013 8:07 p.m.

    Socialize the cost/risk, privatize the gain, the Utah way. Gov. Herbert seems to have made up his mind already; sad.