West Jordan building official condemns Sugar Factory, calls for demolition

Deseret News, 4 October 2010, page B5

Article Summary:

Mayor Johnson says the Sugar Factory arts campus project lost her support late last year when the previous mayor arranged for $1 million in impact fees to be dedicated to saving the Sugar Factory. "As soon as taxpayer money started funding it, it lost my support," she said.

The Sugar Factory Arts Campus Committee became a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization in February and began fundraising during the summer. A $100,000 pledge that could have jump-started fund-raising efforts was rescinded after the City Council made clear its intent to demolish the Sugar Factory.

In a September 22 meeting, the City Council voted to declare two acres of land adjacent to the Sugar Factory as surplus and sell it. Proceeds from the sale were to be used to "demolish and remove all Sugar Factory buildings with the exception of the silos." The council has yet to award contracts for asbestos removal and demolition.

A week after the September 22 meeting, city building official Bill Bailey issued a condemnation order for the entire complex after inspecting the site and determining the silos could topple during a seismic event. It could cost $1.6 million to make them seismically safe.

"The silos are a landmark in the community. It's disappointing that the silos are not in a condition that can be preserved without great expense to the city." (Melissa Johnson, Mayor)

"They're not worth the price. We don't have the money." (Melissa Johnson, Mayor)