(KCPW News) Salt Lake City officials say lack of interest from the state has killed a proposal to combine the city and state emergency operation facilities under one roof. An analysis presented to the legislature last week indicated such a joint facility could have saved taxpayers $2 million. Helen Langan, Mayor Ralph Becker’s senior advisor, says the city will be moving forward without the state.
“You know, without leadership from the Department of Public Safety and the governor’s office, really the idea that we had sort of explored can’t go any further,” Langan says.
A legislative committee decided last week to pass on the proposal, which would have required the state to chip in $14 million.
While some lawmakers expressed concern about the safety of having both facilities in one location, Langan says this wouldn’t have been a problem. Under the joint facility model, each emergency operations center would have functioned independently, and continue to have separate back-up systems. The city’s back up is Salt Lake County, while the state’s back-up is in Tooele.
“The redundant facilities exist for each government facility someplace else,” Langan says. “So through the process of studying the issue with our partners at the state, that didn’t appear to be a prohibitive issue to keep us from pursuing it.”
Salt Lake City will hold a public workshop next week on the design of the proposed public safety building and emergency operations center. Voters approved a $125 million bond in November for the buildings, slated to be built on the block east of Library Square.