Inland Port negotiations move forward collaboratively, make progress on key issues

Salt Lake City Council Members are encouraged by positive progress being made in negotiations with State leaders about key aspects of developing an inland port in the City’s Northwest Quadrant.

“Our meetings and conversations with Governor Herbert, Speaker Hughes, their staffs and others have been collaborative and productive,” said Council Chair Erin Mendenhall, who has led the Council’s involvement. “I’m confident we’ll continue to make progress on four key issues – boundaries of the future port, land use approval authority and appeals process, membership of the Inland Port Authority board, and how to divide property tax-increment funds.”

Utah Senate Bill 234 was adopted in March by State legislators on the second to the last day of the 2018 session.

“It’s clear that SB234 isn’t perfect and many City residents and interest groups have raised legitimate concerns about potential impacts – environmental and otherwise,” Mendenhall said. “But the fact is that the legislation is now law, and state leaders are motivated to move forward quickly with port development plans.

“As the City’s elected representatives, it’s our obligation and responsibility to have a seat at the table to represent and protect the best interests of City residents and taxpayers. We’re committed to stay engaged with state leaders for as long as it takes to raise and discuss issues of great import to the future of Utah’s Capital City.”

Mendenhall emphasized that developing a port of the size envisioned will take years, if not decades, and there are many details that participants agree will need to be studied and addressed. For example, the size and scope of the port has not been defined in detail, a business plan will be developed, and potential impacts must be identified and resolved.

“What’s most important now is for the State and the City to agree on governance, taxation and land use authority,” Mendenhall added. “We’ll then move on to talking about other issues that concern us.”

Meetings will continue between City Council Members and their staff, Governor Herbert and his staff, and House and Senate leaders and their staff members. All discussions are moving forward deliberately and collaboratively. The Council is interested in working with Salt Lake City legislators and stakeholders on the Port’s development.