TOOELE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — Residents in Tooele County are not happy with officials who are blatantly disregarding what their citizens want.

The resolution proposes the establishment of an inland port that would use an area of unincorporated land in the county.

“An inland port,” residents said, “will bring more noise, traffic and pollution. All this growth has upped our cost of housing, tripled our taxes and taken away any chance for our kids to afford living here anymore.”

On the flip side, project officials say this inland port supports the county’s economic vision of encouraging the retention and expansion of existing companies and the recruitment of new ones in hopes of creating employment opportunities for residents.

This development would create new jobs, expand the rail service, and improve the movement of materials.

“We’re trying to help optimize their logistic system and by that we mean can we help shippers and businesses in the community have access to the logistics that are going to carry their commodities, their products to a global community,” said Executive Director Ben Hart with the Utah Inland Port Authority.

Some who currently live in the county say that this kind of development hurts them more than it helps.

“They’ve tried to downplay it and make it sound like it’s no big deal,” said Teri Durfee, who lives approximately three miles away from the proposed area. “It’s just a task that needs to be done and it’s just going to start the process.”

Concerns regarding noise, air and light pollution, and an increase in traffic have made those who live in the area hesitant for something to be placed in that rural area.

The biggest concern is towards officials who residents believe have been secretive with the process of getting the inland port developed.

“If I believed that it was only about the resolution and setting up the project area and nothing else had been done, I probably wouldn’t be as concerned about it,” said Durfree.

Officials from the UIPA say that nothing has been placed into motion and that tonight’s meeting is to clear the air of any misunderstandings.

We’re just hoping we can explain everything, assure the public that this is going to be an open and transparent process and that we’re not talking about anything that would overpower the community,” Hart said.

Durfee adds that if anyone has issues with this development, the worst thing they can do is remain silent

“I think that people need to speak up and let people know that there opposed to things because silence is acceptance so if you don’t speak up if you don’t say something if you don’t tell them how you feel, they think you agree with whatever they’re doing,” Durfee said.

A vast majority of the community members who attended the county council meeting Tuesday evening opposed the plan, re-emphasizing that the project will bring more noise, traffic and pollution to the area.

“A lot of us have worked very hard to get out here and provide the lifestyle for our kids,” said resident Brandon Smith. “This is going to change everything dramatically. I firmly believe that if this inland port gets large enough, it will change the face of Tooele County.”

The Tooele County Council voted to move forward with a resolution authorizing the Utah Inland Port Authority to look into the project. The council is set to discuss further steps in June 2023.