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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2015
Contact: Bob Nardi, 973-809-7495
Prison Relocation Commission Clarifies Site-Selection Process for New Facility
SALT LAKE CITY – At its February 27th meeting, the Prison Relocation Commission (PRC) selected five finalist sites for the new correctional facility. Despite several erroneous media reports to the contrary, the list of five sites selected by the PRC has not changed. In an effort to be completely transparent, on March 27th the PRC released a report detailing research that helped the PRC make its selection at the February meeting. Though some have tried to draw inferences from the report’s contents, it contains no significantly new information. The PRC is treating each of the five finalist sites equally and any reports indicating that the PRC views one site as more favorable than another is inaccurate. The PRC seeks to address some misunderstandings and clarify how the report fits in with the overall site-selection process.
The PRC reviewed over 50 locations submitted voluntarily by landowners. The process to identify and screen properties occurred in two “rounds,” the first ending on Dec. 22, 2014, and the second on Feb. 27, 2015. No new sites have been added to the finalist list since Feb. 27, and there is no “frontrunner” site; all five finalist sites are now undergoing further technical evaluation.
Confusion among some members of the public and news media stemmed from the March 27 posting on the PRC’s website of a report titled “Site Screening Assessment Report – Round 2,” which documents the Round 2 site-review process. The information in the report was presented at the PRC’s Feb. 27 public meeting, which was thoroughly covered by the news media.
However, because the report was posted a month after the last PRC meeting, some mistook the list of sites presented in the Round 2 report as a new “short list” of final locations. This is not the case; two of the top sites from the Round 2 process were added to the top three from Round 1 to create the list of five finalist sites. The PRC apologizes for any confusion this may have caused.
What’s more, although a numerical ranking system was used to screen potential locations in Rounds 1 and 2 to arrive at a short list, the PRC considers the five finalist sites to be equal as they now go through more-detailed technical reviews.
Five Finalist Sites
Here are the five finalist sites and whether they were selected by the PRC in Round 1 or Round 2. They are listed in random order:
• I-80 / 7200 West in Salt Lake County – This site is west of the Salt Lake City International Airport. It was identified in Round 1 and expanded with an adjoining parcel in Round 2.
• SR 112/Depot Boundary Road in Tooele County – This site is near the Miller Motor Sports Park in Grantsville. It was identified in Round 1.
• Lake Mountains West in Utah County – This site at the southernmost part of Eagle Mountain City was identified in Round 1.
• Cedar Valley South in Utah County – This site is southwest of Eagle Mountain City and south of the Town of Fairfield. It was added in Round 2.
• SR 138 Industrial Park Site in Tooele County – This site is near the Walmart Distribution Center. This site was added in Round 2. Here are brief details on the number of sites reviewed in both rounds:
Round 1: 26 sites submitted by landowners for consideration. Three finalist sites were selected from among the Round 1 sites at the PRC’s meeting on Dec. 22, 2014.
Round 2: 24 new sites were submitted between Dec. 22, 2014, and Jan. 31, 2015. Two finalist sites were selected from Round 2, and a third was expanded, at the PRC’s Feb. 27, 2015, meeting.
The PRC’s site-evaluation consulting team, led by MGT of America Inc., is now in the process of performing detailed technical reviews of each of the five finalist sites. This includes investigations of soils and subsurface conditions, wetland delineations, topographic surveys, property appraisals, utility assessments, and so on.
This work will continue throughout the spring and early summer. The PRC has a deadline of August 1 to select a site, although this date can be adjusted if needed. Once a final site recommendation is made, Gov. Herbert will call the full Legislature into special session to review and ratify the selection.
To further educate the public about the process and seek feedback, the PRC is planning open houses/town hall meetings to be held in potential host communities. Further details concerning these meetings will be forthcoming.
For more information about the PRC and its work, please visit le.utah.gov/prc.
*Formatting and italics added by us. Photo here.