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Ogden seeks state aid to buy 1,000 DDO acres

Ogden officials are asking Utah legislators for $1 million in state funds to make an initial payment on 1,000 acres of land where the vacant Defense Depot Ogden now stands.

Ogden hopes to turn the military base into a business park, and officials have made a proposal to the Army to buy the land.The proposal would include the Army selling the $61 million land to the city for $1 million and commitments to make $60 million in future improvements.

Mike Pavich, Ogden Local Redevelopment Authority director, said the Army still hasn't approved that proposal, and he expects a counteroffer.

"We absolutely anticipate that the Army will come back and say, `Nice try guys, but we want this many million dollars.' " Pavich said. "But they're still going to want the million dollars up front. It's whether they want more than that, we don't know."

So Wayne Parker, Ogden's director of management services, spent Monday asking the Capitol Facilities and Administrative Services Appropriations Committee for the money.

He said that Ogden should get the same help a large business would in developing such a sizable piece of property.

If the DDO project doesn't generate 8,000 to 10,000 private sector jobs, the city has agreed to repay the $1 million, Parker said. Otherwise, the state will receive the sales, property and income tax the project generates - an estimated $250 million in the first five years.

Five companies have already moved into the buildings left empty when the depot closed in September.

The 1995 Base Closure and Realignment Commission closed the supply depot and the Department of Defense agreed to let Ogden take over the property.

Pavich said the Army wants to unload the depot property quickly to eliminate maintenance costs.

Rep. Marty Stephens, R-Farr West, is shepherding the request through the Legislature.