On Monday, Sept. 28, the Southeastern Utah Economic Development District (SEUEDD) and Green River City hosted the Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) and Utah Association of Counties (UAC) to discuss with state, regional and community partners the role that logistics and supply chain plays in economic diversification. The meeting was hosted in Green River with officials and businesses from the Southeastern Utah region, including Carbon, Emery, Grand and San Juan counties. The meeting allowed the UIPA to update attendees on the ongoing efforts to improve the statewide logistics system and report on the status of the community intake process that started in June 2020.
In June 2020, the UIPA and UAC requested that the seven economic development districts in Utah assist interested counties in their regions with the completion of a survey, which was intended to gather baseline community data. The SEUEDD conducted the surveys for the region, which includes Carbon, Emery, Grand and San Juan counties. One of the questions included in the survey was if there was a potential site the county would like to propose as a potential satellite inland port.
Emery County designated Green River as a potential site to have a satellite inland port because of the transportation infrastructure such as I-70 and railway access. However, Emery County realizes that should a satellite port exist in the eastern portion of the county that it would have to be a regional approach for the workforce, supply chain and commodities demands, which could extend into Carbon, Grand, San Juan counties and broader.
“Economies do not stop at county or state lines,” Jack Hedge, Executive Director of UIPA, said, “That is why it is crucial to have a regional approach when discussing the possibility of satellite ports across Utah”.
In addition to the submission of Emery County’s potential site, Carbon County submitted a potential site in the Ridge Road and Wellington area. It was proposed to the UIPA that the two-county area could be two locations working together for one satellite port being that Green River has the trucking logistics and Carbon County has the rail logistics with established rail spurs.
At the meeting, the UIPA addressed questions from eager elected officials that want to see a diversification and increase in economic development in the SEUEDD region. Many of those questions were aimed at the UIPA asking how the region could strategize to look more appealing and feasible to have a satellite inland port. Also, the UIPA was transparent with describing how the process of selecting satellite ports will happen. The first step was the survey conducted by the economic development districts. The next steps will be conducting site visits to the proposed satellite port locations and conducting meetings with the local officials and businesses.