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Announcement of prison relocation site selection expected next week

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Posted at 9:55 PM, Aug 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-05 09:03:05-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- After months of heated debate, lawmakers could announce the new home to the Utah State Prison early next week.

The Prison Relocation Commission will meet Tuesday to discuss the four finalist sites for the new state facility.  It’s expected they will then vote to recommend a site to the legislature and Governor.

“It makes me nervous,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.

A plot of land near Interstate 80 and 7200 West in Salt Lake City is up for consideration.  The mayor and public have vehemently opposed the idea of the prison moving from Draper to Utah’s capital city.

However, their sentiments are shared by residents in the other three cities in the running- Eagle Mountain, Fairfield and Grantsville.

According to Becker, the city is considering all options available, including legal recourse, if it is selected as the new prison site.

“We’ll evaluate what they do after we see what their decision is,” Becker said.

Members of the PRC last met in July, where it was determined they would not meet an August 1 site selection deadline. Since then, they’ve been working closely with consultants to answer questions and finalize their reports on each site.

“This has been an unprecedented and intricate process that has become very emotional for residents of the four communities that are finalists to host the new correctional facility,” said PRC Co-Chair Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville.

Once a site is chosen, Gov. Gary Herbert will likely call a special session, where he and lawmakers will have to give final approval.

“We need to make a decision that’s in the long term best interest of the state,” said Wilson.

Next Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. in room 30 of the House Building at the Utah State Capitol.