Hundreds turned up to meeting against West Jordan prison relocation

Posted at 10:29 PM, Dec 15, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-16 00:29:47-05

WEST JORDAN, Utah -- You can pretty much cross West Jordan off the list of potential prison relocation sites.

During a town hall meeting Monday night Mayor Kim Rolfe read a letter, announcing that the owners of the land don't want to sell if the end result is a prison.

Rolfe was unable to finish reading the rest of the letter -- the cheers were too loud, but the more than 1,500 residents in attendance at Oak Crest Elementary School heard all they needed.

"We had an emotional reaction because we do not want the prison here," said Scott Hardy, who helped organize the meeting. "We were concerned and wanted to get together as a group and do something to affect change so the prison will not come to our backyard."

The residents’ main concern was the prison's proximity to several schools.

"It's asinine, it's insane, it makes absolutely no sense," said resident Valerie Pedigo.

"You don't need a prison in a populated area -- I don't understand," said resident Mary Neto.

Before Monday night the West Jordan property along 7300 West and 9000 South was considered one of the top six sites. That makes a total of three in Salt Lake County, two in Utah County and one in Tooele County.

So far residents in each location have said no.

On Tuesday the Salt Lake City Council and Mayor will hold a news conference of their own in opposition of the relocation to their city. It's scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the Utah State Fair Park.

The next Prison Relocation Commission meeting is scheduled for Dec. 22. During that meeting it is possible the commission could narrow it down to the final two possible sites. State lawmakers will make the final vote in January.