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Here’s what the Prison Relocation Commission is looking at when picking a new prison site

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Posted at 10:40 AM, Jul 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-16 23:40:41-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The state's Prison Relocation Commission is breaking down the pros and cons of each potential site for a new Utah State Prison.

Four sites are under consideration:

A map of the four sites under consideration for a new Utah State Prison.

A map of the four sites under consideration for a new Utah State Prison.

Addressing keeping the Utah State Prison at its current site in Draper, consultants hired by the state said it would be difficult and costly to maintain essentially two prisons (building a new one on top of the aging one). It would also stretch out the project. Consultants claimed that to maintain the existing prison, while upgrading it and adding new space would cost $578 million over the next 20 years.

"What we're doing is in the best interests of the citizens and taxpayers of Utah," said PRC Co-chair Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton.

Read the report on the Draper site from the prison consultants here:

Prison consultants went through the benefits and concerns of each potential site. The Salt Lake City site had willing sellers and convenient access, but there were concerns about wetlands, protected species and earthquake danger. Grantsville was cheap, but is on a slope. Eagle Mountain was small, but some wastewater and sewer issues, consultants said. The Fairfield site had some unique issues, including cultural and prehistoric sites and significant utility problems.

Read the report on the potential prison sites here:

Based on the reports, the two sites with the biggest problems are Grantsville and Fairfield. When consultants examined transportation issues, it appears the Salt Lake City site had the least amount of problems there (although Draper was closest for volunteers and Eagle Mountain was closest for employees).

Read the transportation report on prison sites here:

Prison consultants would not rank the sites, nor would they discuss how much the property owners were selling the land for.

"Do any of the sites have a fatal flaw?" asked Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, a co-chair of the PRC.

"All of them are feasible," consultant Bob Nardi told the commission.

Members of the PRC are expected to make a decision on a final site by the first of October.