Coalition calls out Utah Inland Port Authority’s latest business scheme: “More tax breaks for the rich, pollution for everyone else”

On Thursday,  May 11, at 9:30 am in the Utah Capitol Rotunda on the east steps, a coalition of groups will call on the Utah Inland Port Authority to stop the rushed approval of new environmentally damaging, publicly subsidized inland port locations in the Great Salt Lake Basin.  

The Coalition press conference at 9:30 am will precede the10 am meeting of the Utah Inland Port Authority in the Capitol Building, room 445, where they will discuss approval of the hastily vetted publicly subsidized Spanish Fork Inland Port Project Area on the shores of Utah Lake. 

Taxpayers are being forced to subsidize a business scheme with little information about what is intended for the Spanish Fork inland port, which will damage Utah Lake wetlands and is on the doorstep of Utah Lake’s Provo Bay.

The Spanish Fork inland port is being pushed by Salt Lake City based developers Colmena, Wadsworth, Boyer and Gardner, who are eager to gobble up $180 million in tax breaks and other public subsidies for more warehouses on their recently purchased property. In every state where these massive warehouse farms have been built, they have become epicenters of toxic diesel emissions from more trains, thousands of diesel semi-trucks and loading equipment. These same developers are already using public subsidies in Salt Lake City to build enormous warehouses as fast as they can even though there is no business case for them.

The Utah Port Authority is also trying to force another “port” on the residents of Tooele County, located less than 2 miles from Great Salt Lake in high functioning Great Salt Lake wetlands. The Tooele “port” and will bring more intense diesel truck and train traffic throughout the Salt Lake Valley and all the pollution that comes with it.  Pollution emitted in Spanish Fork and Tooele doesn’t stay there, it drifts up and down the Wasatch Front. 

Warehouse developers’ connections to lawmakers deserves strict public scrutiny.  The developers of the Tooele port project include the father (Garry Bolinder) and uncle (Bruce Bolinder) of Utah State Representative Bridger Bolinder, and Charles Ackerlow of Zenith Development (Ackerlow was sentenced to federal prison in 1990 for “his role in a scheme that cost taxpayers $600,000” ) 

Wherever these warehouse farms are built, air quality, and quality of life plummet. UIPA is determined to be the best friend of rich developers and the worst nightmare for everyone else.