Respect community’s vision...
Jan 16, 2014 | 903 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I am saddened and frustrated to hear that Grand County Council members Lynn Jackson and Gene Ciarus are not supporting the community vision for the UMTRA site future. Many, many hours of hard work were put in by the committee and community to create a shared vision for what will soon be a gateway to Moab.

Apparently, they are against the federal government having offices at the site unless they are leased, so the government wouldn’t “lock up” the land and there would be more opportunity for private business.

A couple of points: The taxpayer ends up paying exorbitant prices for leased government buildings – to the tune of hundreds of thousands dollars a year for one office. Also, Mr. Jackson has stated in a meeting that the parcel should be utilized for private development only, citing that Charlie Steen had the uranium mill and Moab profited, which is true. It is also true that Mr. Steen made millions, as did Atlas – but it’s the taxpayers who are paying millions to clean up the mess they left behind.

Current DOE estimates cite $720 million and the U.S. Department of Energy is now saying it could exceed $1.1 billion to remove the pile. Private business isn’t footing the bill – the people are, through tax dollars.

The parcel is huge and there is plenty of room for everyone. It will ultimately save the taxpayer money if the federal government could own the building and save dwindling dollars for critical operations.

And as for “locking up the land,” I am certainly unaware of critical resources or missed opportunities that would exist due to an office building at that location.

It is sad to feel the harkening of the “good old boy” Moab days, where a couple of minds seem determined not to let community visions work, despite the hard work, commitment and vision of the people.

—Ed DeFrancia

Moab

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