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Petition for inland port in western Weber County backed by commissioners

By Rob Nielsen - | Jan 4, 2024

Image supplied, Weber County

These two maps show land included in a proposed Utah Inland Port Authority development site in western Weber County.

WEBER COUNTY — The Weber County Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a resolution requesting that the Utah Inland Port Authority adopt land in the western reaches of the county into a project area aimed at boosting the county’s economic growth.

It was the latest action taken to lure Utah’s inland port apparatus to the area, expanding by nearly 10 times the amount of land contained in a previous proposition discussed last year.

According to a press release distributed by Weber County announcing the resolution’s passage, the plan is in step with the county’s plans for growth.

“The Inland Port project aligns with the Western Weber General Plan that was adopted in July of 2022,” the release said. “The project was first proposed in April of 2023 in a series of public meetings and the first resolution was passed in August of 2023 to adopt a project area. The most recent resolution, passed on January 2, (2024), will assist with development of the West Weber Corridor, allocating about 9,000 acres to take advantage of the infrastructure resources that are currently available, including the creation of new jobs, boosting the local economy, access to state and federal resources, and assisting with the development of the West Weber Industrial District and Renewable Energy Hub.”

While the plans drew scrutiny by some in attendance Tuesday, worried about the environmental impact of such development, UIPA Executive Director Ben Hart said the project ultimately will benefit the region.

“By having this inland port financial mechanism in place, you’re actually going to have a pretty significant financial source that goes back to protect wetlands and the Great Salt Lake,” he said at the meeting. “So, not only is this not going to hurt the Great Salt Lake or the adjoining wetlands, this is actually going to be a benefit.”

Weber County Commissioner Gage Froerer said there’s still a ways to go before plans are finalized.

“This is a first step in a very long process,” he said. “The money (for this project) does not go to developers. It goes to infrastructure for roads, rail, water and sewer.”

In the press release, Weber County Economic Director Stephanie Russell said projects of this kind are carefully thought out before implementation.

“These types of developments are very large and they are not done flippantly,” she said. “They are done with great research and investment on behalf of the County as well as their partner organizations.”

The Standard-Examiner inquired about the timeline for the project but received no response by press time.


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