Utah lawmakers hear feedback from SLC residents on inland port plan

SALT LAKE CITY – Residents of Salt Lake City’s Northwest Quadrant are concerned about plans to develop the area.

Monday, a bill is expected to be unveiled in the State Legislature that will outline a plan to proceed with creating an inland port.

Inland ports take imports from the coast via rail and truck and distribute the goods.

State Sen. Luz Escamilla (D-Salt Lake City) organized a town hall meeting to give her constituents a chance to voice their concerns.

“How are you going to handle the traffic, pollution that we are going to get,” asked a woman who is a resident of the area.

Another asked, “Does it have to be right here, right now?”

Sen. Escamilla believes the plan could provide a boost to the local economy. She also realizes why residents are concerned.

“That’s also scary for some of our constituents,” Escamilla said. “That brings traffic, pollution, air quality issues—and that’s what we are trying to address.”

Speaker of the House Greg Hughes (R-Draper) attended the event and received several heated questions and comments.

“That’s the way you get good policy accomplished.” Hughes said. “You have those conversations and even sometimes uncomfortable conversations.”

But he sees potential benefits that could come from the land port plan.

“It could be a great boost to our economy. It could be a great, high paying job center for people that live in this area,” Hughes said.

This is only the beginning of this discussion. The plan could take 40 years to complete, but it could come with some big changes along the way.

“This is their home. We had people here living generations in this community and they value their community and they want to make sure their children have quality of life,” Escamilla said.