Citizens rally to keep prison out of Tooele County

Ari Davis
No Prison in Tooele County co-founders Jewel Allen and Katrina Hill organized the rally preceding the Prison Relocation Commission information session.

Concerned citizens of Tooele County gathered Thursday afternoon at the Grantsville City Park to support the “No Prison in Tooele County” movement. Tooele County is one of the three prospective sites for the prison relocation.

Co-founders of the group “No Prison in Tooele County” Jewel Allen and Katrina Hall organized a food truck round up directly across the street from the Prison Relocation information session held in Grantsville High School. The round up was organized to gather like minded citizens to the information session.

“We are very excited about the turnout. It’s great because it just goes to show that we really care here in the county,” said Allen.

Allen, a 14 year resident of Tooele county, will be able to see the prison from her home and worries about the setbacks it may bring to the community.

“It’s very personal for me because from my front yard I can see the hill that they are considering for the prison. When I go for walk at night, there are no street lights and I can picture it in my mind if there was a prison there,” Allen said.

One of Hall’s main concerns is developmental setbacks for her community.

“The fact that we are losing precious property to a non-taxable entity is always a concern,” Hall said. “We have great plans for growth and making it a place where people want to come and work and live but we only have so much property. Giving it up to the prison is not an option.”

Residents seemed to agree unanimously regarding the water issue. “Water is the main issue on people’s minds,” Allen said. “It’s so obvious because we ourselves have to conserve water regularly.”

Ronda Carson, a citizen of Tooele County, feels that her community is the dumping grounds for Utah and shares the same concerns as Allen and Hill.

“While water is a big issue, another big issue that is not talked about a lot is the schools. We are already so low as far as the budget goes,” Carson said. “We just cannot afford to give any of that up that up to prison spending and we are told that it is very likely that we would have to give some up to the education in the prison.”

Jeanette Marshall, a citizen of Grantsville, worries for the safety of her and her children if prisoners were to be living in close quarters to their home.

“The crime rate will go up and I am worried about prisoners escaping. I do not know what they are capable of,” Marshall said.

Earlier this week, the Miller Family Real Estate group pulled their property for consideration for the prison relocation. This was one of two sites being considered in Tooele County  However, citizens have not let up. They have began to raise even more concerns such as budget and education.

The next information session will be held on Tuesday, June 2nd at Frontier Middle School in Eagle Mountain. An open house will take place from 4-7 p.m., followed by a question and answer session from 7-9 p.m.

A formal public hearing has been added to the calendar on Tuesday, June 16th at the Utah State Capitol.




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