SALT LAKE CITY — Envision Utah President/CEO Robert Grow didn’t mince his comments to state legislators at an interim committee meeting Wednesday about what’s at stake, economically speaking, in the quest to plan for ongoing explosive growth in and around the Wasatch Front’s Point of the Mountain area.
Tens of thousands of new, high-paying jobs and billions in state revenues.
“The national consulting team we worked with made these projections that, if we do things right, we would end up with, by 2050, 150,000 additional high-end, innovation jobs in the state that would otherwise not come,” Grow said.
“And those jobs would pay on average about $40,000 (a year) more than the average incomes of the state.”
The same consultants projected the state would harvest about $8 billion in additional revenues from those new jobs, and that’s just looking at personal income tax generated by those workers over the next 33 years, Grow also noted to members of the Economic Development and Workforce Services Interim Committee.
Grow was equally blunt in describing alternate scenarios.
“If we fail, those 150,000 jobs are going to go somewhere else,” Grow said. “Getting this right means a lot, but we have to do it to attain these results.”
Grow’s organization has been coordinating studies and outreach for the Point of the Mountain Development Commission since its legislative inception. Utah lawmakers tasked the body with formulating the best path forward for the development of 20,000 acres of unused and under-utilized property disbursed throughout southern Salt Lake County and northern Utah County, including the 700-acre site of the Utah State Prison in Draper.
The first two phases of the project focused on gathering public and stakeholder input and then assembling “preferred scenarios” for that redevelopment to give the state its best economic, and quality of life, outcomes as the population continues its steep increases in those areas. Included in the Phase Two scenario presentations, released in January, were some ballpark figures on costs associated with achieving those development goals.
How to pay for it all will be the focus the next phase of the commission’s work and the body’s co-chairman, Rep. V. Lowry Snow, R-Santa Clara, emphasized that transit and transportation improvements called for under the commission’s best-case scenarios represent the lion’s share of public costs, and the numbers are sizeable.
“In Phase 3, we’ll be looking at how do we finance the infrastructure in the development study area, which is going to be significant,” …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Business News