Utah Inland Port Authority approves $150 million bond for project

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Utah Inland Port Authority Board of Directors have approved the creation of a Public Infrastructure District to fund six new projects which they say will reduce current air emissions and improve rail access for Utah businesses, Monday afternoon.

The projects will take place in UIPA’s current jurisdictional area in the northwest of the Salt Lake Valley. The projects are aimed at reducing the impacts created by existing industrial development according to a press release.

“All these projects are designed to address gaps currently in Utah’s logistic system, which is the primary role of the Port Authority,” said Jack Hedge, Executive Director of UIPA in a press release. “Providing this underlying infrastructure supports the entire ecosystem of the jurisdictional area – from a logistics standpoint, to the environment, to the community – everyone benefits.”

Although the board of directors approved the Public Infrastructure District funding in a 9-2 vote, the project has garnered community opposition for using $150 million in publicly backed bonds to be paid off with tax dollars from the inland port area.

Community Coalition group Stop the Polluting Port say on their website that with thousands of shipping containers coming to Utah by rail every day and being off-loaded in the inland port area onto trucks, this would massively increase the number of polluting diesel trucks traveling in the inland port area, throughout the Salt Lake Valley and northern Utah

The six projects included are:

  • Transloading Facility-a focus on sustainability, increased water and energy efficiency, reduced waste and emissions, using eco-friendly building materials, and improving indoor environmental quality
  • Renewable Energy Refueling Station– UIPA is working with partners to develop a renewable fueling station for private and/or public use
  • Acquisition of Infrastructure and Real Property– The project will contribute in deconflicting at-grade crossings in adjacent neighborhoods, providing greater access and livability as well as reducing idling by both cars and trains.
  • Community Partnership Project– UIPA and Stadler Rail are establishing a joint venture to develop a community partnership project that includes an employee dining and daycare with an industrial kitchen and pre-k opportunities for the community.
  • North Temple Rail Line– UIPA is working collaboratively with the property owner of the North Temple Landfill to acquire an easement for development of a rail line across the property to open up rail access north of I-80.
  • Road Design and Development– Connecting 7200 West from SR 201 to 700 North to provide additional connectivity and create a more efficient freight network.

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