SALT LAKE CITY — The Legislature voted Wednesday to relocate the Utah State Prison from Draper to a site west of Salt Lake City International Airport, ending years of debate among lawmakers.

But the decision to approve a concurrent resolution supporting the move, HCR101, didn't end the debate over where the state should build a new 4,000-bed prison expected to cost $550 million.

The resolution was approved 62-12 in the House and 21-7 in the Senate after more than two hours of debate in a special legislative session. It now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert, who must sign the resolution before the deal is done.

After the vote, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and other city leaders said they are still considering all options to stop the prison from coming to the capital, including filing a lawsuit or launching a referendum.

Lawmakers may have limited their options. Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, warned after the vote that if Salt Lake City fights the move in court, there's a possibility that the land could be annexed into Magna.

Stevenson, co-chairman of the Legislature's Prison Relocation Commission, also said the state is keeping purchase agreements in place for sites in Eagle Mountain and Fairfield in Utah County, and Grantsville in Tooele County, just in case.

Still, the senator said, he believes the adversarial tone between the state and the city will change now that the decision has been made.

"As we go through this, we think there are enormous benefits for Salt Lake City to reap through this process," Stevenson said. "And we don’t want to be anyone’s enemy. I think we’ll just let this all cool down now."

The mayor and the City Council aren't backing down.

"This decision demonstrates a disregard for the residents of Salt Lake City," they said in a joint statement, calling it "extremely disappointing."

Becker told the Deseret News there's concern that lawmakers have “badly underestimated” costs of developing the site despite a change to the resolution indemnifying the city from paying for costs associated with the prison.

"It does not change our view that this is a poor site and should not have been selected," Becker said, indicating that city officials will continue looking seriously at a lawsuit, as well as a potential referendum to repeal the resolution.

The new language in the resolution did not cover a likely basis for a lawsuit by the city, the liability associated with the potential contamination from disturbing a former landfill adjacent to the site, Stevenson said.

The city could run into trouble with a referendum, since lawmakers said a resolution cannot be subject to a referendum and the resolution passed with the support of more than two-thirds of both the House and Senate.

“We'll just have to see what our attorneys tell us and what our options are going forward,” the mayor said.

What's next for the project is finalizing the purchase of some 500 acres of the 4,000-acre site identified near I-80 and 7200 West, expected to cost $30 million, and the start of designing a new, state-of-the-art facility.

"This has been a long time coming," House Majority Assistant Whip Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, told House members, describing how the poor conditions at the Point of the Mountain prison hurt efforts to rehabilitate inmates.

Wilson, co-chairman of the Legislature's Prison Relocation Commission, said the choice is also best for taxpayers.

"It's 6 miles from the nearest resident," he said, but close to needed services. Building on the site, located not far from an industrial park, will spark additional economic development in the area, Wilson said.

An opponent of the move, Rep. Fred Cox, R-West Valley City, unsuccessfully attempted to substitute his resolution to build a new prison on the Draper site in phases, HCR102.

Wilson said that didn't make sense because of security concerns during construction on the site, as well as the lower long-term operating costs associated with the Salt Lake site.

He said keeping the prison in place would also mean forgoing the opportunity to develop the current prison site, nearly 700 acres of prime real estate located along the so-called "Silicon Slopes" technology corridor.

Cox's effort was trumped when Rep. Mark Wheatley, D-Murray, offered another substitute that includes language sought by Salt Lake City officials that spells out that the state will pay all costs associated with the new prison.

Wheatley said that includes damage in the event of an earthquake at the site, described as having soil so soggy it will take more than a year to prepare for construction and require pilings up to 12 stories deep.

That change was accepted on a voice vote.

The resolution passed with the indemnification provision, but not before Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, said the move was not about "social justice, but about class," about one community being built up on the back of another.

"What about our housing values?" asked Hollins, who represents the area where the prison will be built. "The people on the west side have a vision for this state. We want to participate in that vision. We have something to offer."

Another Salt Lake Democrat, Rep. Angela Romero, also spoke against the move because of the impact on the community's west side.

"We feel like we're disposable. We feel like we're not valued," Romero said. "This is about our side of town being respected."

Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, said he has relatives who are incarcerated and hopes a prison is not viewed as devaluing a community. "Let's not make this a divisive thing," he said.

The vote was not entirely along party lines, with House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, and other Democrats voting in favor of the resolution. Five Republicans joined seven Democrats in opposing the move.

In the Senate, Sen. David Hinkins, R-Orangeville, urged his colleagues to amend the resolution to move the prison to the Price area, promising big savings to taxpayers. But senators rejected his attempt.

Senate Minority Assistant Whip Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City, the Senate sponsor of the failed resolution to keep the prison in Draper, said the federal government is likely to take issue with wetlands and wildlife habitat on the Salt Lake site.

A provision added to legislation passed earlier this year by the 2015 Legislature that would allow Salt Lake City to ask voters for a half-cent sales tax increase to help with expenses related to the prison was an issue for some senators.

Becker and his opponent in November's general election, Jackie Biskupski, have both pledged they won't seek the tax increase solely because of the prison. But several senators suggested they'll try to repeal the option next session.

Four Republicans and three Democrats in the Senate voted against the resolution.

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