Letter: Fishy prison move

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  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 11:29 a.m.

    I hope the State doesn't try to be the "developer" of this land. That's not their business. They are in the business of Government. Not being land developers. It would be a total conflict of interest for the State to compete against private business as a developer. Can you imagine the law suits if they undercut another developer on price (because after all their land is free, so they can sell it for as low a price as they want, costing someone else a sale).... So the State would have the inside track on all retail leases/sales for a long time (possibly putting some real developers who are in that business out of business).

    People would sue the State and win. The State government should not be competing with private businesses.


    The important thing to remember is... IF they rebuild on the OLD site. They still have to pay to build a temporary facility to house the inmates during construction. We can't have the inmates living in a construction site. And we can't have construction people working in a maximum security area... insuring security would be impossible.

  • CynicJim Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 6:36 a.m.

    Every person, group, or lobbiest that meets with my representative has a cause celeb that is to his/her/their benefit. State legislators should have to list, on their Webb site, every lobbiest that visits with them. We, as a community, have no idea what kinds of ideas are being placed in front of our Reps, or, what it will cost.
    Necessity is the argument for every infringement on human liberty, it is the argument of tyranny--William Penn

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 5:08 p.m.

    2 bits hit it right on the head, the prison is old and needs to be rebuilt completely. The cost to do that will be the same no matter where they build the new facility. The state already owns land so that cost could be minimal.
    And finally, the state could actually be the developer and make most of the income. So what is the problem here. Get all the facts before you get excited,

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 3:15 p.m.

    If the deal doesn't make sense... don't do it!

    I don't know the details of the deal. I just know that the land is very valuable to a developer (because they can make a bunch of money subdividing it and selling lots for housing and for retail). And it will finally give Bluffdale a commercial tax base (which is good for every Utah resident and especially for Bluffdale residents).

    If the State can't find cheaper land in the west desert than this prime land next to I-15... then they are idiots.

    They should get more than $50 million for the land... that's nothing (in State budget terms). We pay more than that to build a High School now days.

    But $50 million is better than nothing. And they say we have to rebuild the prison whether we move or not. It's too small and it's falling apart. To rebuild there may cost more than $700M (double the facility capacity on the same land, must build something temporary to house current inmates while we demolish it to build the new one on the land currently occupied by the old one).

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 3:10 p.m.

    "Real Maverick" I seldom agree with you but I do on this topic. The prison move has a bad smell to it.

    "2 bits" You should reference some of the "behind the scenes" nonsense that occurred regarding land acquisitions by UTA and land developers/retired legislators regarding the draper frontrunner station. The State legislature felt the need to investigate the issue.
    Fact is; these smarmy deals don't usually involve elected officials, or even developers so much directly. Rather, the deals are usually well hidden via "brother-in-laws", "uncles", "second cousins twice-removed", etc.

    Do I have ANY confidence whatsoever that there will NOT be deals made behind closed doors?


  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 2:10 p.m.

    The Real Maverick

    "Unless there is a citizen uprising which demonstrates to them that we care, that we are engaged, and that there will be consequences if our wishes aren't carried out, they will continue to disregard us as the mindless and ignorant sheep that we are."

    Even if there is a citizen uprising, the move will still go through. After all, the legislature knows what is best for us. They know there won't be any consequences of their actions. There never has been when they ignore the sheep.

    "If we sell the land in Draper for more than we spend on the new land and facility."

    The problem is the land in Drpaer is worth around $50-$60 million. The cost to buy land elsewhere and build a new prison is well over $400 million. Some estimates put it at close to $700 million.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    Utah, well run? For some I guess but 1 in 5 children go to bed hungry here in a state that boasts the best private charity institution and they are still poor and hungry. Move the prison if you have to but those that benefit should incur 100% of the costs. Simple solution, eh? Mr. 2 Bit, you ask for names and they were provided above, they were named previously in the media so stand down.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    What's the "cost to the State" detractors keep bringing up. The State could actually MAKE $$$ on this move. If we sell the land in Draper for more than we spend on the new land and facility... The State MAKES money!

    What's "wrong" with that?


    And the people who pretend they are just worried about the "cost to the State", then turn around and say "I'd be OK with it, but only if the land the prison is currently is on becomes a park, and no developer gets an inch of it".

    Well duhhh... if we do that then the move becomes 100% "Cost to the State". Because there's no sell of old property to offset the cost of acquiring the new property and building the new facility!

    Then the move is 100% funded by tax payers... and 0% funded by the developers buying the old land.

    We WANT this move to be 100% funded by the developers who buy the old land, NOT by the tax payers! If the State just buys new land and new facility (and no sell to offset it)... the "cost" to tax payers will be huge. Do you not see that?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    All this constant innuendo that someone in the Legislature (or his family) is going to benefit from this move is well and good... be eventually you need to come up with some specific allegations and some proof... not just the blanket obscure accusation based on rumors and opinion posters.

    Give us someone specific in the Legislature who is going to benefit from this... and we can make sure he doesn't get on the committee dealing with this decision.

    But just blanket accusing all of them... without a single shred of proof or even any signs of any wrong doing by any legislator... is just lame blather with no basis in truth. But none is needed when politician are involved... right? Wrong.

    Unless you know somebody in the legislature who's going to benefit financially from the move... stop making the baseless accusation just to stir up innuendos based on rumors posted to the opinion page.

    Give us names...

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 8:13 a.m.

    Below is posted: "Utah is well run because we spend wisely and frugally on just legitimate basic needs."
    Is battling same sex marriage a "basic need"?
    Why are our schools so glaringly over-crowded and under-funded?
    How come we can't afford salt and plows for the roads towards the end of the season?
    Why are so many of our main streets carpeted with unfixed potholes?
    Why do the 35% or so of the citizens---non-Mormons-- forced to have booze taxed to provide school lunches for ALL kids?
    Why do our attorneys general do whatever the heck they want?

    Well run?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 5:51 a.m.

    Jim, unless there is a citizen uprising protesting the move, it will go through.

    We here in Utah rant about socialism nonstop. But we seem to be blinded when our legislature blatantly uses our tax dollars to enrich themselves or their real estate buddies. This is nothing more than a handout to Niederhouser and Ivory. We pay for the move and they get the privatize the profits.

    Unless there is a citizen uprising which demonstrates to them that we care, that we are engaged, and that there will be consequences if our wishes aren't carried out, they will continue to disregard us as the mindless and ignorant sheep that we are.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 12:49 a.m.

    I've read that the economic benefits of moving the prison would be greater than the cost of the move.

    If so, let land developers pay the costs and reap the benefits. I as a tax payer don't want to make this investment or take that risk.

    Utah is well run because we spend wisely and frugally on just legitimate basic needs.