There has been some confusion about the new Price River Terminal Community Development Project Area plan. While there have been many theories on what it is and what it will mean for our community, a more thorough explanation was discussed at the Carbon County Commission meeting that took place on Wednesday, Jan. 20.
The project will be located entirely within the boundaries of Carbon County. A space of land on Ridge Road is going to be reserved and used as a Community Development Area. The idea is to have the space available for potential business to come in and expand, bringing more jobs to the Carbon County area.
“The main existing feature in the project area is a facility used for petroleum storage and transloading,” a plan document draft of the project area states. “The project area was previously home to a large coal processing facility, which has since been dismantled and the ground reclaimed.”
The draft for the project area plan has been written and revised and was available for viewing at the meeting. A copy of the plan is also available upon request. The attorney for the project, Adam Long, was also in attendance and spoke about some of the concerns.
A big concern that has been voiced by citizens was whether or not property taxes will increase. Long assured that this was not the case. He stated that the way taxes will come into play is through tax increment. They hope to start with a base value that, ideally, will continue to grow. Long also stated that he was at the meeting in hopes of giving commissioners the opportunity to ask any lingering questions.
A citizen of Carbon County spoke at the meeting about his hesitancy toward the new project area plan. John Morgan Lund stated he is a property owner in the area who is fascinated by the project and had asked for a copy of the proposal, which was then mailed to him. According to Lund, the document is full of some very open-ended language and generalization that was very concerning to him.
“How can I make a good judgment when most of these sections are blank?” Lund questioned.
Carbon County Auditor Seth Oveson spoke next. He stated that the reason for the open-ended feeling of the document was that it was a draft and certain decisions had not been made at the time of the document being sent out. Since then, it has been revised and legal descriptions have been filled in. A new copy is available for anyone that would like one. Some areas were left open, according to Oveson, in order to accommodate negotiation with new companies that may come in to discuss terms unique to that individual business.
Attorney Long spoke once more, informing all involved that no money is currently being spent on this project. The document is doing nothing but setting framework. No specific projects have been mentioned. This is currently not a situation where there is an industry asking for anything to be done immediately. The area is simply being designated as a project area for economic development.
“At this point, no money is flowing anywhere,” Long stated.
Commissioner Jake Mellor spoke of the document. He believes that it is a standard and typical document, one that is usually used for this type of plan. He also stated that he agrees that it will provide more industry and jobs in Carbon County. Another member of the community that spoke highly of the project was Kathy Smith.
“Carbon County is ahead of the curve for adopting something like this,” she said.
Overall, the opinion of the plan was a positive one. Citizens were informed that if the plan is passed, it won’t be done privately. It is still important for members of the community to know what is available and what is coming into the area. At the end of the meeting, the project area plan was adopted.
Those who are interested may acquire a copy of the plan by calling the Carbon County clerk’s office at 636-3228.