Mayor raises concerns over visions of inland port bill

SALT LAKE CITY -- Changes have been made to what’s being called Utah’s largest economic development project in history.  The inland port is a section of land designated for shipping and receiving activities.  The land sits in the northwest corner of Salt Lake City.

“My concern is setting up a scenario where it turns into a big fight, a big pissing match,” said republican Senator Jake Anderegg of Lehi.

The fight, at least for Salt Lake City’s Mayor, has already begun.

“We should be fighting for our authority, we should be fighting on behalf of residents, we shouldn’t have to be worried moving forward is all we’re getting is more pollution,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski.

Mayor Biskupski believes the city has been shut out of the management of its own land.  Though the city will get some of the tax money the land generates, the distribution of that money and the management of the land will be up to the inland port authority board.  The board was created by the legislature in a last minute bill during the last session.

“We have not been able to get answers on how the taxes will be spent and we have not been able to get answers on land use authority,” said Mayor Biskupski.

However, the Salt Lake City council broke with Biskupski, supporting the amendments as a positive step to a compromise.

The amendments include a smaller overall footprint for the port, some compromise on environmental issues, money for affordable housing and more representation on the port board.