WASHINGTON - Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Rob Bishop have introduced legislation to transfer three parcels of federally owned land in Box Elder County to the town of Mantua.
Specifically, The Box Elder Utah Land Conveyance Act would convey nearly 32 acres of land that could be used by the community for multiple purposes, including the potential development of a new city cemetery, a new town hall, fire station, park or elementary school.
The parcels included in this legislation are located on the south end of town below 100 South and west of Main Street and Willard Peak Road. They are part of a larger tract originally owned by Hans Rasmussen, an early settler of Mantua, whose family deeded the land to the U.S. Forest Service in 1941 for $1.00. Under this legislation, the city of Mantua would not be required to pay for the land, but would assume all costs associated with surveying and development.
"There is absolutely no valid reason why the federal government should maintain ownership of this land, which has sat vacant and virtually unused for decades, when it could otherwise be utilized by the town of Mantua to meet the current challenges associated with its growth and expansion," said Congressman Bishop, whose district encompasses all of Box Elder County. "The parcels of land we're asking to have conveyed are relatively small in size but would have a significant impact on the future of this community."
"It is a testament to the growth of our state and cities like Mantua that this bill is necessary," said Senator Lee, who sits on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "The city can use the land productively and the federal government has no pressing need for it. With the help of Rep. Bishop, I hope we can move this bill quickly through Congress."
Bishop, who serves as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public lands, will request that a legislative hearing be held on this bill.