This is an archived article that was published on in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Salt Lake County officials reiterated their objections Tuesday to financing deals that West Jordan is proposing in an effort to entice Facebook to build a data center in the city.

The proposal the county responded to Tuesday was contained in an Aug. 17 email in which West Jordan economic development manager Paul Coates asked the county to consider giving all of the new revenue it might get from the project to Jordan School District to minimize the impact on public education.

But a letter from county Mayor Ben McAdams, endorsed Tuesday by the County Council, said there's no way the county would turn over its share. It also suggested a better way for Jordan School District to meet its needs would be to forgo its contributions of future property-tax revenue to the $260 million incentives package West Jordan put together.

"The county believes that it is inappropriate to have local school districts participate in projects of this nature because it redirects future new growth revenue from its intended use — to provide our grandchildren with a better education," McAdams wrote.

Jordan School District, he said, will receive $17 million in new revenues from the Economic Development Area that West Jordan wants to create to lure Facebook.

But the district would give up $94 million, funds that would become part of the incentive for Facebook to spend $750 million to build up to six data centers, employing from 50 to 300 people, on 232 acres near State Route 111 and New Bingham Highway.

County officials aren't certain how the letter and the council's stance will influence where things go from here with the recently quiet Facebook discussions.

For one thing, Coates' email to the county was sent a week before the Utah Board of Education threw the contentious pursuit into confusion. The board added several conditions Aug. 23 before it would consent to allow its property-tax increment share to go to the project.

Those provisions prompted West Jordan City Manager Mark Palesh to declare the project dead that night. He reversed course the next day, saying negotiations were continuing with the company because "this is too good of an opportunity to pass up."

Because it's unclear how Coates' email fits into this overall scheme, council attorney Jason Rose told the members that the county could be compelled to comply if it did not respond within 30 days, denying the request to transfer. So, to be cautious, the council backed the letter clearly establishing the county's position.

Councilman Richard Snelgrove said the proposal made it easier for the school district to back the project because somebody else would be paying for it, which he didn't like.

"If they were playing entirely with their own money, they might arrive at a different conclusion," he said. "This stinks."

Efforts to reach West Jordan officials for comment late Tuesday were unsuccessful.