Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Keep it in Draper would have saved taxpayers $100 Million or more

In 2015, I made some "startling claims".

First, I stated that there was enough room at the current Draper Prison location to rebuild the prison, even if the state wanted a brand new 4,000 bed prison.


Second, I stated it would save the tax payers $100 Million or more to "Keep it in Draper".


and from this:

"Rep. Fred Cox, R-West Valley City, pushed the Legislature to reject the unanimous recommendation of the Prison Relocation Commission to build in Salt Lake City. He also didn't want it moved to the other potential locations in Grantsville, Eagle Mountain and Fairfield. Instead, Cox argued it is not only feasible to rebuild the prison where it is in Draper, but it would save as much as $100 million. "I still believe the Draper site is the best location," he said."

Now that the dust has settled from the 2015 legislative votes, what has happened?

For the land area, I was told they needed 500 acres. I said there was enough land in Draper that was vacant and even if they did need 500 acres, it could be phased and would still fit as there were around 680 acres the state owned at the Draper Prison site.

The "experts" claimed they couldn't build at the Draper Prison for security reasons, even though they didn't have any issues with expanding the Gunnison Prison while it is occupied. "That is outside the security fence", I was told. I reminded them I worked on the site plan drawings for the original Gunnison Prison and I was aware of that.  I also told them they could build at Draper out side the security fence and even proposed a construction access point that would not create a security problem.

Again, I am not an expert on prisons. I served as a volunteer at the Draper Prison for 2 years. many years ago I worked on the construction drawings for the Gunnison Prison, including the site and floor plans and also the site and other drawings for Oxbow in South Salt Lake, plus site master plans for several proposed prison locations around the county, while working for a local firm. I have spent 30 years designing sites for commercial shopping centers and other commercial sites. 

I was told I didn't know what I was talking about. I have been proven right on all accounts.

Later, when the "real" consultants were hired, instead of the "experts" from New Jersey and Texas, the state decided they only needed 323 acres west of the Salt Lake Airport and it would have plenty of room to expand.



Now that they are adding up the cost of the west of the Salt Lake City Airport location, they now need $100 Million more from taxpayers.


So the $80 Million in cash plus $470 Million in Bonds for the Prison has now increased to $570 Million in bonds plus the $80 Million in cash.

Wow! Who could have seen this coming?