Lacking a suggestion for a better alternative site, the state will move ahead with plans to build a 60-bed juvenile detention facility adjacent to the Davis County Jail in west Farmington.
Spurred by opposition from nearby residents, Farmington City officials tried to derail the project or at least get it moved to another city.City officials met recently with the staff of Gov. Mike Leavitt, and Farmington Mayor Greg Bell also raised the issue when he met the governor at a social function, Bell told the city council.
But the state intends to build on its original site, four acres it is buying from the county just west of the jail complex on Clark Lane.
"The county has signed off on the land purchase, and I expect the state has, too, either yesterday or today," said Camille Anthony, executive director for the state Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.
In the meeting between city officials and Leavitt's staff, the city was offered the option of suggesting another site within Farmington but nothing materialized, Anthony said Thursday.
A parcel of vacant land west of the current 2nd District Juvenile Court building just off the I-15 frontage road at Burke Lane was suggested, but Anthony said plans to rebuild the interchange as part of the upgrading of U.S. 89 would put an off-ramp through the site, taking out the existing court building as well.
And, Bell reported to the council recently, the city's suggestion of a 10-acre UDOT storage site in Centerville's industrial park was also rejected.
"We got a good hearing," Bell said of the meeting. "But the governor still believes the site next to the jail is a good one. We haven't talked the state out of it."
The state's suggestion that the city offer another site would have brought equally outraged protests from other residents, Bell told the council, adding, "I think we're in a box."
Some west Farmington residents have formed a group called Concerned Farmington Citizens and have lobbied the city to file a lawsuit blocking the facility's construction.
Anthony said at this point the state is going ahead with the $4 million project and plans to have it done by September 1995.
Juvenile offenders picked up in Davis County are currently taken to the 34-bed MOWEDA juvenile center in Roy, which also houses juvenile offenders from Weber and Morgan counties.
The center is frequently overcrowded so some offenders are released.
According to state officials, the facility in Farmington will house three classes of juveniles.
Sixteen to 20 beds will be for serious offenders ordered to serve time, another 16 to 20 beds will be juveniles going through court-ordered evaluations prior to sentencing with the rest used for offenders arrested by police.
Law enforcement officials in the county are in favor of the Farmington site.
Police officers who arrest a juvenile now must drive them to Roy in Weber County, then return to their home jurisdiction.