MINUTES OF THE
PRISON DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
Wednesday, January 6, 2016 – 2:00 p.m. – Room 30 House Building
Sen. Jerry W. Stevenson, Senate Chair
Rep. Brad R. Wilson, House Chair
Sen. Karen Mayne
Sen. Evan J. Vickers
Rep. Francis D. Gibson
Rep. Eric K. Hutchings
Rep. Mark A. Wheatley
Mr. Carlton Christensen
Director Rollin Cook
Director Ron Gordon
Mr. Brian J. Bean, Policy Analyst
Mr. Bryant R. Howe, Assistant Director
Mr. Robert H. Rees, Associate General Counsel
Ms. Bree A. Frehner, Legislative Assistant
Note: A list of others present, a copy of related materials, and an audio recording of the meeting can be found at www.le.utah.gov.
1. Committee Business
Chair Wilson called the meeting to order at 2:07 p.m.
MOTION: Rep. Hutchings moved to approve the minutes of the November 5, 2015, meeting. The motion passed unanimously. Sen. Mayne and Rep. Gibson were absent for the vote.
2. Project Management Team
Ms. Kim Hood, Executive Director, Department of Administrative Services, introduced Mr. Eric Tholen, Director, Division of Facilities Construction and Management. Mr. Tholen gave a brief summary of his professional experience in architecture and construction.
Mr. Jim Russell, Assistant Director, Division of Facilities Construction and Management, introduced the newly selected project management team BDK, which consists of Big-D Construction and Kitchell. He discussed the team's qualifications and the services it would provide, referencing "DAS Prison Development Commission Update."
Sen. Mayne inquired whether Kitchell would bring out-of-state companies into the project. Mr. Russell stated that Kitchell's role is to provide expertise. Mr. Tholen added that Kitchell was not hired as a contracting entity, but that contracting would be the responsibility of the construction manager/general contractor.
3. Project Timeline
Mr. Russell shared a basic project timeline outlined in "DAS Prison Development Commission Update."
Responding to a question from Chair Wilson, Mr. Russell discussed the property selection and purchase timeline, mentioning some difficulties the division is facing with evaluating the sites.
Chair Wilson inquired what further work would be completed before selecting a building site. Mr. Russell discussed the site testing that would be completed once an architect is procured.
After Mr. Russell explained the timeline, Chair Wilson expressed concern that the schedule lists a completion date of July 2020. He discussed the state of the current prison facilities in Draper and inquired whether it would be possible to accelerate the project schedule. Mr. Russell responded that it may be possible to shorten the timeline.
Mr. Christensen asked when work would begin on site preparation and prison construction. Mr. Russell responded that he hopes work will begin in the fall of 2016.
4. Project Update
Mr. Russell updated the commission on the progress of due diligence studies being conducted on the west and east building sites. He indicated that the division's preliminary work indicates that the east site may present more challenges for the construction of new prison facilities.
Sen. Mayne inquired whether Magna Water District has the necessary facilities to provide water and sewer services to the new correctional facilities as well as the broader Northwest Quadrant. Mr. Russell discussed Magna's proposal and capabilities. He mentioned that Magna is not the current service provider for the Northwest Quadrant and noted concerns regarding where water would be discharged if Magna's proposal is accepted.
Chair Wilson noted that while the commission is not responsible for facilitating economic development in the Northwest Quadrant, economic activity could be a positive externality resulting from the project and should be considered when appropriate. Ms. Hood noted the governor's focus on economic development.
Rep. Hutchings cautioned that the selection of utility provider should not encumber the construction of new correctional facilities with unnecessary environmental issues.
Mr. Russell discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the east and west possible building sites, as noted in "DAS Prison Development Commission Update."
Chair Wilson discussed the importance of environmental groups and encouraged Mr. Russell to continue working with these groups. He also noted the importance of gathering input from individuals and groups in the community.
Mr. Cook asked whether it was possible for the Department of Corrections (UDC) to begin working immediately on architecture and design with BDK. Highlighting that the Draper prison facility is run down, Mr. Cook encouraged Mr. Russell to reach out to UDC to begin necessary processes immediately.
Rep. Hutchings discussed the importance of the functionality of the new correctional facility. He encouraged Mr. Russell, BDK, UDC, and others to begin now to explore what functions are needed.
Mr. Christensen asked who would handle public communication for this project. Mr. Russell and Ms. Hood responded that BDK and the public information officers for the Department of Administrative Services and UDC would work together to fulfill this role. Mr. Christensen suggested that a project website should be created.
Rep. Wheatley asked about hazards posed by the landfill near the east site. Mr. Russell discussed the danger of hazardous material migration and concerns that the state could face legal challenges from inmates and patrons due to the proximity of the landfill to the site.
Ms. Hood thanked the commission for its commitment and willingness to be involved in the project. She committed to being transparent and coordinating with the commission so the state can construct the best prison for the best value.
Chair Wilson noted that the commission is responsible for ensuring that tax dollars are spent wisely and the project progresses appropriately. He stated that the commission would like to provide feedback and receive additional information on the project as it becomes available.
5. Other Items/Adjourn
MOTION: Mr. Christensen moved to adjourn the meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
Chair Wilson adjourned the meeting at 3:10 p.m.