With a decision on the Utah State Prison relocation looming, community opposition at all five sites under consideration is ramping up. However, State Legislators appear adamant that there is no turning back at this point.
State Senator Evan Vickers, a member of the Relocation Commission, indicated that of all the possible scenarios, keeping the prison at the current location is out of the question.
“That’s true, the legislature made a decision a year ago and the reason for that is if we construct a new prison that’ll cost us about 500 million dollars, and there’s a revenue stream to pay for it because the property that the current prison sits on is very valuable," Vickers said. "The property itself as well as the tax revenue that will generate from the businesses that will go on that and the jobs that’ll be created there. If we renovate the existing prison it’s going to cost 3 to 400 million dollars. There’s no revenue stream to pay for that so we’ve got to find existing revenues to pay for it, and we still end up with a renovated old system.
A decision on one of the five preferred locations is expected within the next month.