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Library Square a safe place to build public safety complex, city officials say

If Mayor Ralph Becker and other Salt Lake City leaders settle on Library Square as the site of the proposed public-safety complex, planners say they will be building on solid ground.

Despite a list of seismic concerns from the Main Library's project manager, city officials say either side of 300 East would be a safe place to build two multistory buildings.

"It is clear that either of the proposed site locations do (not) present undue hardships in that context," David Everitt, Becker's chief of staff, wrote in letter to project manager Ken Ament on Wednesday.

In a May 14 letter to city officials, Ament said the site was a poor choice for the public-safety complex because it was plagued by liquefaction problems, a history of seismic activity and contaminated soil — all things that would drive up the cost of the project.

"It's a buildable site," he told the Deseret News on Wednesday. "There's never been a question they couldn't build on the site. The question is: Should they build on the site?"

Ament pointed to a "high" liquefaction potential on the block, but city leaders say the block is a moderate risk, as is much of the Salt Lake Valley. Original Article