At least 10 years will pass before Utah County reaps millions of dollars in tax revenue Micron Technology promises to bring should its semiconductor plant be fully built as anticipated.
Meanwhile, north Utah County and south Salt Lake County cities will have to deal with a continued influx of new residents and congested streets. School districts, particularly Alpine School District, will see student populations boom. Commercial development in communities surrounding Micron will explode.Until Tuesday, proponents of the massive project could only speak about its impact in general terms. An economic impact analysis conducted for the Lehi City Redevelopment Agency put some real numbers to Micron's future presence on the Wasatch Front.
"It's a little stunning perhaps when you roll these figures around," said Lehi Mayor Bill Gibbs. "My feelings haven't changed. I'm still scared."
Boise-based Micron in June began construction of a 2 million-square-foot computer memory chip production plant at the base of Traverse Ridge on U-92. The now estimated $1.7 billion facility is to start production next summer.
School districts might be pressed by Micron's presence the soonest. The study estimates that the Wasatch Front school-age population will increase by 2,300. About 1,200 of those children will likely attend Alpine schools.
Micron estimates it will employ 3,328 people by 1998. About 560 of those people, including 352 transferees from the Boise plant, will come from outside Utah, the study says. Micron has already received 4,000 job applications. The study predicts that most of Micron's workers will live within 25 miles of the plant.
"Don't think for a minute that all of this rush and load is going on to Lehi and Utah County alone," Gibbs said. The study estimates that 70 percent of the local government impact will occur in Utah County; the remainder in Salt Lake County.
Micron attorney Doug Vander Boeugh called the economic impact report a "sanity check" and a "fairly accurate representation" of what Utah can expect from the company. Micron has objections to some aspects of the report because most of it is guesswork, he said.